- to make a solemn declaration or affirmation by some sacred being or object, as a deity or the Bible.
- to bind oneself by oath.
- to give evidence or make a statement on oath.
- to use profane oaths or language: Don't swear in front of the children.
- to declare, affirm, attest, etc., by swearing by a deity, some sacred object, etc.
- to affirm, assert, or say with solemn earnestness.
- to promise or undertake on oath or in a solemn manner; vow.
- to testify or state on oath: He swore it on the witness stand.
- to take (an oath), as in order to give solemnity or force to a declaration, promise, etc.
- to bind by an oath: to swear someone to secrecy.
- swear by,
- to name (a sacred being or thing) as one's witness or guarantee in swearing.
- Informal.to have great confidence in; rely on: He swears by his dentist.
- to have certain knowledge of: I thought I saw him leaving, but I couldn't swear by it.
- swear in, to admit to office or service by administering an oath: A new president will be sworn in today.
- swear off, to promise or resolve to give up something, especially intoxicating beverages.
- swear out, to secure (a warrant for arrest) by making an accusation under oath.
Origin of swear
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for swear
Nine new Republican senators will swear their oaths of office.The Democrats’ Black Hole—and What They Can Do About It
December 31, 2014
Or should you swear it off in the name of better cholesterol?Bulletproof Coffee and the Case for Butter as a Health Food
December 27, 2014
Opposing fans often taunt him, screaming, “Swear in a minute, he's going to swear in a minute.”Team USA Lost, but Tim Howard Is a Winner
July 1, 2014
I swear we all went into this because we like people and most importantly the idea of healing you is very rewarding.‘Code Black’: An M.D. on How to Fix Our Emergency Room Crisis
June 20, 2014
It just shocked me, I swear I would have a chauffeur if I could ever afford one.The Price of Being a Patton: Wrestling With the Legacy of America’s Most Famous General
May 26, 2014
He was then required to swear by all the gods, and by the dreaded Erinnys, that he had spoken truly.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
I've come to see you for two minutes; I swear I mean you no harm.Way of the Lawless
He tried to swear Edith and me to secrecy, but we refused to be sworn.Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus
Jessie Graham Flower
It don't do 'em any good, but just the same they all swear they're innocent.Within the Law
Will you swear that the message that went with it had nothing to do with the Lenni-Lenape?'The Trail Book
- to declare or affirm (a statement) as true, esp by invoking a deity, etc, as witness
- (foll by by)
- to invoke (a deity, etc) by name as a witness or guarantee to an oath
- to trust implicitly; have complete confidence (in)
- (intr often foll by at) to curse, blaspheme, or use swearwords
- (when tr, may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to promise solemnly on oath; vow
- (tr) to assert or affirm with great emphasis or earnestness
- (intr) to give evidence or make any statement or solemn declaration on oath
- to take an oath in order to add force or solemnity to (a statement or declaration)
- swear blind informal to assert emphatically
- a period of swearing
Word Origin and History for swear
Old English swerian "take an oath" (class VI strong verb; past tense swor, past participle sworen), from Proto-Germanic *swarjan-, (cf. Old Saxon swerian, Old Norse sverja, Danish sverge, Old Frisian swera, Middle Dutch swaren, Old High German swerien, German schwören, Gothic swaren "to swear"), from PIE root *swer- (1) "to speak, talk, say" (cf. Old Church Slavonic svara "quarrel"). Also related to the second element in answer. The secondary sense of "use bad language" (early 15c.) developed from the notion of "invoke sacred names." Swear-word is American English colloquial from 1883. Swear off "desist as with a vow" is from 1898.