- moving or capable of moving with great speed or velocity; fleet; rapid: a swift ship.
- coming, happening, or performed quickly or without delay: a swift decision.
- quick or prompt to act or respond: swift to jump to conclusions.
- Slang. quick to perceive or understand; smart; clever: You can't cheat him, he's too swift.
- any of numerous long-winged, swallowlike birds of the family Apodidae, related to the hummingbirds and noted for their rapid flight.
- tree swift.
- spiny lizard.
- Also called swift moth, ghost moth. any of several brown or gray moths, the males of which are usually white, of the family Hepialidae, noted for rapid flight.
- an adjustable device upon which a hank of yarn is placed in order to wind off skeins or balls.
- the main cylinder on a machine for carding flax.
Origin of swift
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for swifter
If you do that, the pace of the book will be swifter and the story as a whole will move quickly.How I Write: Lisa Scottoline and Daughter Francesca Serritella
November 14, 2012
Truth is, they demand a narrative with greater cohesion and swifter pace than is delivered here.Umberto Eco’s 'The Prague Cemetery' Brings to Life Ancient Hate
November 12, 2011
In addition to helping us power our cars, imitating sharks could lead to swifter ships and more advanced underwater sensors.Sharks Are Scary But Not That Dangerous
June 16, 2011
Now the boat was going at a more rapid rate as the current was swifter.Frank Roscoe's Secret
They felt the breeze from his powerful wings, and swifter went their own.Classic Myths
Mary Catherine Judd
He was a good runner, swifter than any puppy of his size, and swifter than Lip-lip.White Fang
No one could strike harder or swifter than he, when he chose.A Writer's Recollections (In Two Volumes), Volume I
Mrs. Humphry Ward
The swifter sound is acute, the sound which moves slowly is grave.Timaeus
- nautical a line run around the ends of capstan bars to prevent their falling out of their sockets
- moving or able to move quickly; fast
- occurring or performed quickly or suddenly; instanta swift response
- (postpositive foll by to) prompt to act or respondswift to take revenge
- swiftly or quickly
- (in combination)swift-moving
- any bird of the families Apodidae and Hemiprocnidae, such as Apus apus (common swift) of the Old World: order Apodiformes. They have long narrow wings and spend most of the time on the wing
- (sometimes capital) a variety of domestic fancy pigeon originating in Egypt and Syria and having an appearance somewhat similar to a swift
- short for swift moth
- any of certain North American lizards of the genera Sceloporus and Uta that can run very rapidly: family Iguanidae (iguanas)
- the main cylinder in a carding machine
- an expanding circular frame used to hold skeins of silk, wool, etc
- Graham Colin. born 1949, English writer: his novels include Waterland (1983), Last Orders (1996), which won the Booker prize, and The Light of Day (2002)
- Jonathan. 1667–1745, Anglo-Irish satirist and churchman, who became dean of St Patrick's, Dublin, in 1713. His works include A Tale of a Tub (1704) and Gulliver's Travels (1726)
Word Origin and History for swifter
Old English swift "moving quickly," related to swifan "move in a course, sweep" (see swivel). Related: Swiftly; swiftness.
type of bird (several species of the family Cypselidæ, resembling swallows), 1660s, from swift (adj.) in reference to its swift flight. Regarded as a bird of ill-omen, if not downright demonic, probably for its shrill cry. The name earlier had been given to several small fast lizards (1520s).