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[swurv] /swɜrv/
verb (used without object), swerved, swerving.
to turn aside abruptly in movement or direction; deviate suddenly from the straight or direct course.
verb (used with object), swerved, swerving.
to cause to turn aside:
Nothing could swerve him.
an act of swerving; turning aside.
Origin of swerve
1175-1225; Middle English swerven (v.); Old English sweorfan to rub, file; cognate with Dutch zwerven to rove, Old High German swerban, Old Norse sverfa to file, Gothic afswairban to wipe off
Related forms
unswerved, adjective
unswerving, adjective
unswervingly, adverb
unswervingness, noun
Synonym Study
1. See deviate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for unswerving
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In it were expressed sorrow, indignation, pity, and unswerving loyalty.

    Cap'n Warren's Wards Joseph C. Lincoln
  • His plans were carried out with an unswerving tenacity of purpose.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • And yet in the fundamentals of character and conduct he must be unswerving.

  • As such they deserve our profoundest respect; our unswerving obedience.

    Practical Ethics William DeWitt Hyde
  • He was a man of prudence and deliberation, and of unswerving decision.

    The Autobiography of St. Ignatius Saint Ignatius Loyola
  • His unswerving belief in the beneficence of God was most beautiful, most touching.

    Old Familiar Faces Theodore Watts-Dunton
  • He met the glance with one as earnest and unswerving as her own.

    The Sign of the Spider Bertram Mitford
  • Quiet men were sometimes the most desperate, the most unswerving, she realized.

British Dictionary definitions for unswerving


not turning aside; constant


to turn or cause to turn aside, usually sharply or suddenly, from a course
(transitive) to avoid (a person or event)
the act, instance, or degree of swerving
Derived Forms
swervable, adjective
swerver, noun
Word Origin
Old English sweorfan to scour; related to Old High German swerban to wipe off, Gothic afswairban to wipe off, Old Norse sverfa to file
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 unswerving

1690s, from un- (1) "not" + present participle of swerve (v.).



early 13c., "to depart, make off;" early 14c., "to turn aside, deviate from a straight course," probably from Old English sweorfan "to rub, scour, file" (but sense development is difficult to trace), from Proto-Germanic *swerbanan (cf Old Norse sverfa "to scour, file," Old Saxon swebran "to wipe off"), from PIE root *swerbh-. Cognate words in other Germanic languages (cf. Old Frisian swerva "to creep," Middle Dutch swerven "to rove, stray") suggests the sense of "go off, turn aside" may have existed in Old English, though unrecorded. Related: Swerved; swerving.



1741, from swerve (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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