or S.W.A.T.

  1. a special section of some law enforcement agencies trained and equipped to deal with especially dangerous or violent situations, as when hostages are being held (often used attributively): a SWAT team.
verb (used with or without object), swat·ted, swat·ting.
  1. Usually swat. (especially among online video gamers) to cause a SWAT team to be deployed on (an unsuspecting victim) by falsifying a threat, often as a punishment or retaliation: The prankster planned to swat other gamers during their streaming broadcasts so everyone would see it happen. Several members of the development team were swatted when the game expansion disappointed fans.

Origin of SWAT

S(pecial) W(eapons) a(nd) T(actics)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for s.w.a.t.


  1. a former princely state of NW India: passed to Pakistan in 1947
  2. a river in Pakistan, rising in the north and flowing south to the Kabul River north of Peshawar. Length: about 640 km (400 miles)


n acronym for
  1. Special Weapons and Tactics: a military-like unit within the US police force, trained to deal with specially dangerous situations, such as hostage-taking and riots


verb swats, swatting or swatted (tr)
  1. to strike or hit sharplyto swat a fly
  1. another word (esp Brit) for swatter (def. 1)
  2. a sharp or violent blow
Also called: swot

Word Origin for swat

C17: northern English dialect and US variant of squat


verb, noun swats, swatting or swatted
  1. a variant of swot 1
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

Word Origin and History for s.w.a.t.


also SWAT, 1968, acronym said to be for Special Weapons and Tactics squad or team; or Special Weapons Attack Team.



1796, American English and northern England dialect word, possibly an alteration of Middle English swap "to strike, smite" (see swap), ultimately of imitative origin. Related: Swatted; swatting. The noun is recorded from 1800.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper