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swish

[swish] /swɪʃ/
verb (used without object)
1.
to move with or make a sibilant sound, as a slender rod cutting sharply through the air or as small waves washing on the shore.
2.
to rustle, as silk.
3.
to move or behave in an exaggeratedly effeminate manner.
verb (used with object)
4.
to flourish, whisk, etc., with a swishing movement or sound:
to swish a cane.
5.
to bring, take, cut, etc., with such a movement or sound:
to swish off the tops of plants with a cane.
6.
to flog or whip.
noun
7.
a swishing movement or sound.
8.
a stock or rod for flogging or a stroke with this.
9.
Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to an effeminate male homosexual.
adjective
10.
Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. swishy (def 2).
11.
Chiefly British Informal. stylishly elegant; fashionable.
Origin of swish
1750-1760
1750-60; imitative
Related forms
swisher, noun
swishingly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for swishes
Historical Examples
  • It swishes fast round gravelly bends into large eddying pools where in their season the salmon and peal lie.

  • I beat the air with my stick, and it says "hoo" as it swishes; whenever I think I deserve it, I sit down and give myself food.

  • (She swishes her huntingcrop savagely in the air) Take down his trousers without loss of time.

    Ulysses James Joyce
  • Swish′er, one who swishes or flogs; Swish′-swash, a swishing action or sound: a washy drink.

  • The doctor himself gave the signal to start, and at the word they darted with two “swishes” into the water.

    Parkhurst Boys Talbot Baines Reed
  • The branches make an armchair far back against the trunk, and that glossy foliage, always cool, swishes like waves at low tide.

    Minstrel Weather Marian Storm
  • When an elephant plucks off a branch and swishes his flanks, and thus keeps away insects, he is using a tool.

    This Simian World Clarence Day
  • The swishes became more frequent, the returnings almost doubling on their track.

    Edge of the Jungle William Beebe
  • Besides the rabbits we find all sorts of other charming things in the long grass that swishes so happily round our ankles.

British Dictionary definitions for swishes

swish

/swɪʃ/
verb
1.
to move with or make or cause to move with or make a whistling or hissing sound
2.
(intransitive) (esp of fabrics) to rustle
3.
(transitive) (slang, rare) to whip; flog
4.
(transitive) foll by off. to cut with a swishing blow
noun
5.
a hissing or rustling sound or movement
6.
a rod for flogging or a blow from such a rod
7.
(US, slang) an effeminate male homosexual
8.
a W African building material composed of mortar and mud or laterite, or more recently of cement and earth
adjective
9.
(informal, mainly Brit) fashionable; smart
10.
(US, slang) effeminate and homosexual
Derived Forms
swisher, noun
swishing, adjective
swishingly, adverb
Word Origin
C18: of imitative origin
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 swishes

swish

v.

1756, probably imitative of the sound made by something brushing against or through something. Related: Swished; swishing.

n.

1820, from swish (v.); sense of "effeminate homosexual" is 1930s in homosexual slang, probably from notion of mincing motion.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for swishes

swish 1

adjective

Showing the traits of an effeminate male homosexual; mincing; limp-wristed, nellie: His walk was quite swish (1930s+ Homosexuals)

noun

  1. An effeminate male homosexual; queen: that fat swish
  2. Elaborate decoration: place needs more swish

verb

To move, walk, speak, etc, in the manner or presumed manner of effeminate male homosexuals (fr homosexuals)

[perhaps fr the swinging movements of the hips in a mincing walk; perhaps fr swish2]

swish 2

adjective

Elegant; fancy; posh, ritzy, swank: You can get a very swish version or a very asi version

[1879+;frBritishdialect,anapparentvariantofswash, ''a swaggerer,'' hence semantically related to swank]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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13
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