- simple past tense of swim.
- to move in water by movements of the limbs, fins, tail, etc.
- to float on the surface of water or some other liquid.
- to move, rest, or be suspended in air as if swimming in water.
- to move, glide, or go smoothly over a surface.
- to be immersed or steeped in or overflowing or flooded with a liquid: eyes swimming with tears.
- to be dizzy or giddy; seem to whirl: My head began to swim.
- to move along in or cross (a body of water) by swimming: to swim a lake.
- to perform (a particular stroke) in swimming: to swim a sidestroke.
- to cause to swim or float, as on a stream.
- to furnish with sufficient water to swim or float.
- an act, instance, or period of swimming.
- a motion as of swimming; a smooth, gliding movement.
- in the swim, alert to or actively engaged in events; in the thick of things: Despite her age, she is still in the swim.
Origin of swim
Related Words for swambathe, glide, dive, float, paddle, submerge, wade, crawl, move, slip, practice, stroke, race, freestyle, skinny-dip, dog-paddle
Examples from the Web for swam
Contemporary Examples of swam
She attended a multicultural performing arts school and swam competitively.Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira Vs. Boko Haram
Kristi York Wooten
November 30, 2014
They swam in the direction of the lights of Giglio, not knowing exactly what they were swimming toward.I Survived a Deadly Shipwreck: Costa Concordia Passengers Tell Their Stories
Barbie Latza Nadeau
May 19, 2014
If they swam just as strenuously on the tenth immersion as on the first, the risk of drowning would increase dramatically.How Depression Could Save Your Life
March 4, 2014
My friend, her boyfriend, and I woke up to find a wild, empty beach where we sunbathed, swam naked, and laughed all day.Nine Amazing Places To Skinny Dip Around The World
September 21, 2013
But not even 20 seconds later, we saw a huge, 14-foot shark that swam about 40 feet from us.Off the Hook: Eric Young’s Craziest Shark Catches (Video)
August 5, 2013
Historical Examples of swam
Some of them tried it, but the Indians swam after them, stabbing and pulling them under.The Trail Book
No, Grandad, for when we thought we had it sure, it jumped into the water and swam away.Fair Margaret
H. Rider Haggard
No sooner was it apparent that she was free than the Dyaks sprang into the water and swam to her side.The Monster Men
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Then he drew himself upon his plank and swam, doubling his speed.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
A sickening vision of that first night in Paris swam before her.The Incomplete Amorist
- the past tense of swim
- (intr) to move along in water, etc, by means of movements of the body or parts of the body, esp the arms and legs, or (in the case of fish) tail and fins
- (tr) to cover (a distance or stretch of water) in this way
- (tr) to compete in (a race) in this way
- (intr) to be supported by and on a liquid; float
- (tr) to use (a particular stroke) in swimming
- (intr) to move smoothly, usually through air or over a surface
- (intr) to reel or seem to reelmy head swam; the room swam around me
- (intr; often foll by in or with) to be covered or flooded with water or other liquid
- (intr often foll by in) to be liberally supplied (with)he's swimming in money
- (tr) to cause to float or swim
- (tr) to provide (something) with water deep enough to float in
- swim against the tide or swim against the stream to resist prevailing opinion
- swim with the tide or swim with the stream to conform to prevailing opinion
- the act, an instance, or period of swimming
- any graceful gliding motion
- a condition of dizziness; swoon
- a pool in a river good for fishing
- in the swim informal fashionable or active in social or political activities
Word Origin for swim
Old English swimman "to move in or on the water, float" (class III strong verb; past tense swamm, past participle swummen), from Proto-Germanic *swemjanan (cf. Old Saxon and Old High German swimman, Old Norse svimma, Dutch zwemmen, German schwimmen), from PIE root *swem- "to be in motion."
The root is sometimes said to be restricted to Germanic, but possible cognates are Welsh chwyf "motion," Old Irish do-sennaim "I hunt," Lithuanian sundyti "to chase." For the usual Indo-European word, see natatorium. Sense of "reel or move unsteadily" first recorded 1670s; of the head or brain, from 1702. Figurative phrase sink or swim is attested from mid-15c., often with reference to ordeals of suspected witches.
1540s, "the clear part of any liquid" (above the sediment), from swim (v.). Meaning "part of a river or stream frequented by fish" (and hence fishermen) is from 1828, and is probably the source of the figurative meaning "the current of the latest affairs or events" (1869).
In addition to the idioms beginning with swim
- swim against the current
- swim with the tide
- in the swim
- sink or swim