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[swoon] /swun/
verb (used without object)
to faint; lose consciousness.
to enter a state of hysterical rapture or ecstasy:
The teenagers swooned at the sight of the singing star.
a faint or fainting fit; syncope.
Origin of swoon
1250-1300; (v.) Middle English swo(w)nen to faint, orig. as gerund swowening, swoghning act of swooning, ultimately continuing Old English -swōgan (in compounds) to rush, overrun, choke; (noun) Middle English, partly derivative of the v., partly extracted from in (a) swoune, on swoune, alteration of a swoune, aswoune in a swoon, as if equivalent to a a-1 + swoon (noun), but probably continuing Old English āswōgen, past participle of āswōgan to overcome (see a-3), or geswōgen (past participle) senseless, dead
Related forms
swooningly, adverb
unswooning, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for swooning
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "It is nothing," replied Lydia, who had indeed closed her eyes as if on the point of swooning.

    Cosmopolis, Complete Paul Bourget
  • It was Taurus Antinor who received the swooning Cæsar in his strong arms.

    "Unto Caesar" Baroness Emmuska Orczy
  • Stay me with wine, strengthen me with fruit, for I am swooning with love.

  • His ears rung as in the overture to the swooning dream of chloroform.

    Elsie Venner Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • And while the panther fell back roaring, and before it could prepare for a new spring, Taurus Antinor had seized the swooning man.

    "Unto Caesar" Baroness Emmuska Orczy
British Dictionary definitions for swooning


verb (intransitive)
a literary word for faint
to become ecstatic
an instance of fainting
Also (archaic or dialect) swound
Derived Forms
swooning, adjective
swooningly, adverb
Word Origin
Old English geswōgen insensible, past participle of swōgan (unattested except in compounds) to suffocate
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 swooning



c.1300, suowne, "state of unconsciousness," probably from Old English geswogen "in a faint," past participle of a lost verb *swogan, as in Old English aswogan "to choke," of uncertain origin. Cf. Low German swogen "to sigh."


c.1200, "to become unconscious," probably from a lost Old English verb *swogan (see swoon (n.)). Related: Swooned; swooning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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