- 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 swiftness
The swiftness and high case-rate of Chikungunya is almost unprecedented in the annals of horrible viral outbreaks.Chikungunya: The Mosquito-Borne Virus That Contorts Your Limbs
March 5, 2014
Presumably he realizes he could spend a fortune and still get fired by the electorate with Apprentice-like swiftness.The GOP's 2012 Fantasies
December 26, 2010
Miss Milbrey disunited the chatting couple with swiftness and aplomb.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
His proposal was received with acclamations, and executed with the swiftness of thought.
The rush and blows passed with the fury of a whirlwind, and the swiftness of lightning.
They were not prepared for his swiftness and directness, for his attack without warning.White Fang
So slowly they moved as compared with the swiftness of the other!
- 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 swiftness
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).