- 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.
- to rustle, as silk.
- to move or behave in an exaggeratedly effeminate manner.
- to flourish, whisk, etc., with a swishing movement or sound: to swish a cane.
- to bring, take, cut, etc., with such a movement or sound: to swish off the tops of plants with a cane.
- to flog or whip.
- a swishing movement or sound.
- a stock or rod for flogging or a stroke with this.
- Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to an effeminate male homosexual.
- Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. swishy(def 2).
- Chiefly British Informal. stylishly elegant; fashionable.
Origin of swish
Examples from the Web for swishing
Neither of them spoke, and the only sound was the swishing of the paddle.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
But his oil, all day long and all night too, was swishing in its 96tanks on the course to Zanzibar.Journeys to Bagdad
Charles S. Brooks
I shouldn't mind the—the swishing so much if I'd done anything.The Giant's Robe
Helen's voice sang above their footsteps and the swishing of her dress.Moor Fires
E. H. (Emily Hilda) Young
The heavy clouds and the swishing rain held no gloom for me.The Love Story of Abner Stone
Edwin Carlile Litsey
- to move with or make or cause to move with or make a whistling or hissing sound
- (intr) (esp of fabrics) to rustle
- (tr) slang, rare to whip; flog
- (tr foll by off) to cut with a swishing blow
- a hissing or rustling sound or movement
- a rod for flogging or a blow from such a rod
- US slang an effeminate male homosexual
- a W African building material composed of mortar and mud or laterite, or more recently of cement and earth
- informal, mainly British fashionable; smart
- US slang effeminate and homosexual
Word Origin and History for swishing
1756, probably imitative of the sound made by something brushing against or through something. Related: Swished; swishing.
1820, from swish (v.); sense of "effeminate homosexual" is 1930s in homosexual slang, probably from notion of mincing motion.