- 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 swiftly
We will not be able to win it back any more easily or swiftly that Roy Hobbs.After Torture Report, Our Moral Authority As a Nation Is Gone
December 11, 2014
Republicans took control of the state legislature and swiftly eliminated the cap on charter schools.At This Creepy Libertarian Charter School, Kids Must Swear ‘to Be Obedient to Those in Authority’
October 15, 2014
Fergie almost landed a U.N. role until the offer was swiftly dropped, amid rumours both of pressure from Buckingham Palace.What The Hell is Posh Spice Doing At The UN?
September 29, 2014
It will swiftly become clear that there is no room in this starry-eyed arrangement for a compact with Washington.John Kerry Just Visited. But Should We Just Forget About India?
August 3, 2014
The accused were swiftly removed from the court before they could issue any statement.Egyptian Court Hands Down Stiff Sentences for Al-Jazeera Journalists
June 23, 2014
And now, as the train took her swiftly to her fate, she made the best of it.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
Then, still softly and swiftly, he lifted the saddle from its peg and put it on its back.Way of the Lawless
She came to him suddenly and swiftly, and clasped him close to her.The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
But I will not reproach the dead; her punishment came all too swiftly.A Little Book of Profitable Tales
The Margaret was a swift ship, but never yet had she moved so swiftly.Fair Margaret
H. Rider Haggard
- 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 swiftly
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).