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[sweed] /swid/
a native or inhabitant of Sweden.
(lowercase) Chiefly British. a rutabaga.
Origin of Swede
1580-90; < Middle Dutch or Middle Low German; cognate with German Schwede; compare Old English Swēon (plural), Old Norse Svēar, Svīar, Medieval Latin Suiōnes Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Swede
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was a young Swede, a fine, handsome youth, about twenty years of age.

    Georgie's Present Miss Brightwell
  • "Shut up, you big Swede, go and learn English," somebody said.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • It was far from what the Swede had expected; but he accepted the task, obediently.

  • Her captain was a Swede, and knowing me for a seaman, invited me on the bridge.

    Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad
  • The Swede was as much distressed as Morrison; for he understood the other's feelings perfectly.

    Victory Joseph Conrad
British Dictionary definitions for Swede


a Eurasian plant, Brassica napus (or B. napobrassica), cultivated for its bulbous edible root, which is used as a vegetable and as cattle fodder: family Brassicaceae (crucifers)
the root of this plant
(NZ) a slang word for head (sense 1)
Also called (for senses 1, 2) Swedish turnip, (US and Canadian) rutabaga
Word Origin
C19: so called after being introduced into Scotland from Sweden in the 18th century


a native, citizen, or inhabitant of Sweden
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Swede

1610s, from Low German, from Middle Low German Swede, back-formed from a source akin to Old English Sweoðeod, literally "Swede-people," from Sweon (plural) "Swedes" (Old Norse, Old Swedish Sviar), called by the Romans Suiones, probably from Proto-Germanic *sweba "free, independent," or else from *geswion "kinsman."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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