verb (used without object), swagged, swag·ging.

to move heavily or unsteadily from side to side or up and down; sway.
to hang loosely and heavily; sink down.

verb (used with object), swagged, swag·ging.

to cause to sway, sink, or sag.
to hang or adorn with swags.

Origin of swag

1520–30; perhaps < Scandinavian; compare Norwegian svaga, svagga to sway, rock




  1. plunder; booty.
  2. money; valuables.
  3. free merchandise distributed as part of the promotion of a product, company, etc.
  4. self-confidence and personal style as shown by one's appearance and demeanor: the top ten athletes with the most swag.
  5. schwag(def 1).
Australian. a traveler's bundle containing personal belongings, cooking utensils, food, or the like.


Slang. cool; cute; looking great: She looks so swag in her new jacket.Check out my swag boyfriend.

verb (used without object), swagged, swag·ging.

Australian. to travel about carrying one's bundle of personal belongings.
Also sweg [sweg] /swɛg/ (for defs 1, 3).

Origin of swag

First recorded in 1790–1800; special uses of swag1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for swag

Contemporary Examples of swag

Historical Examples of swag

  • I didn't git none o' the swag; it warn't my job, but I seed 'em through.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • If we got the swag, we'd GOT to do for him, or he would hunt us down and do for us, sure.

    Tom Sawyer, Detective

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • I was going to give you a share of the swag—of course, of course, of course!

  • They didn't fight; they stayed at home, where it was safe, and waited for the swag.

  • Now all you've got to do is to make sure where he keeps his swag.


    Joseph Conrad

British Dictionary definitions for swag



slang property obtained by theft or other illicit means
slang goods; valuables
an ornamental festoon of fruit, flowers, or drapery or a representation of this
a swaying movement; lurch
Midland English dialect a depression filled with water, resulting from mining subsidence
Australian and NZ informal (formerly) a swagman's pack containing personal belongings
go on the swag Australian and NZ informal to become a tramp
swags of Australian and NZ informal lots of

verb swags, swagging or swagged

mainly British to lurch or sag or cause to lurch or sag
(tr) to adorn or arrange with swags
(intr) Australian informal to tramp about carrying a pack of personal belongings

Word Origin for swag

C17: perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare Norwegian svagga to sway
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 swag

"to move heavily or unsteadily," 1520s, probably from Old Norse sveggja "to swing, sway," cognate with Old English swingan "to swing" (see swing). Related: Swagged; swagging.


"ornamental festoon," 1794, from swag (v.). Colloquial sense of "promotional material" (from recording companies, etc.) was in use by 2001; swag was English criminal's slang for "quantity of stolen property, loot" from c.1839. Earlier senses of "bulky bag" (c.1300) and "big, blustering fellow" (1580s) may represent separate borrowings from the Scandinavian source. Swag lamp attested from 1966.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper