Origin of swan1
Definition for swan (2 of 3)
verb (used without object)
Origin of swan2
Definition for swan (3 of 3)
Examples from the Web for swan
Seeley Lake lies in the valley between two mountain ranges: the Swan to the east, the Mission to the west.
From the corner of the porch you can see the Swan Mountains; turning your head, you see the Missions.
The Memphis metropolitan daily, the aptly named Commercial Appeal, took a swan dive on the story.The Strange and Mysterious Death of Mrs. Jerry Lee Lewis|Richard Ben Cramer|January 11, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But at least Prince William, who is today experiencing day two of student life, now has some pals he can eat a swan with.Will William Be Eating Swan At Cambridge University?|Tom Sykes|January 8, 2014|DAILY BEAST
I added a few impossible positions, just to have a little fun, like the Swan Flying over the Oyster Shell.The Business of Sex: Amy Tan’s ‘The Valley of Amazement’ on Shanghai Courtesans|Jane Ciabattari|November 8, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Lone glanced back as he led the way through the gate which Swan was holding open.The Quirt|B.M. Bower
Well, what sort of a country have they got out Swan River way?The Imperialist|(a.k.a. Mrs. Everard Cotes) Sara Jeannette Duncan
Swan Tavern, left him by his father, occupied his time after the war.Legends of the Skyline Drive and the Great Valley of Virginia|Carrie Hunter Willis
"You speak as if it were your swan dance," cried Michael Malone.West Wind Drift|George Barr McCutcheon
The Swan Hotel at the entrance to the town looks the picture of an angler's inn; so there we will rest awhile.Nooks and Corners of Shropshire|H. Thornhill Timmins
British Dictionary definitions for swan (1 of 3)
- a poet
- (capital when part of a title or epithet)the Swan of Avon (Shakespeare)
verb swans, swanning or swanned
Word Origin for swan
British Dictionary definitions for swan (2 of 3)
British Dictionary definitions for swan (3 of 3)
Word Origin and History for swan
Old English swan, from Proto-Germanic *swanaz (cf. Old Saxon swan, Old Norse svanr, Middle Dutch swane, Dutch zwaan, Old High German swan, German Schwan), probably literally "the singing bird," from PIE root *swon-/*swen- "to sing, make sound" (see sound (n.1)); thus related to Old English geswin "melody, song" and swinsian "to make melody."
In classical mythology, sacred to Apollo and to Venus. The singing of swans before death was alluded to by Chaucer (late 14c.), but swan-song (1831) is a translation of German Schwanengesang. Swan dive is recorded from 1898. A black swan was proverbial for "something extremely rare or non-existent" (late 14c.), after Juvenal ["Sat." vi. 164], but later they turned up in Australia.
"Do you say no worthy wife is to be found among all these crowds?" Well, let her be handsome, charming, rich and fertile; let her have ancient ancestors ranged about her halls; let her be more chaste than all the dishevelled Sabine maidens who stopped the war--a prodigy as rare upon the earth as a black swan! yet who could endure a wife that possessed all perfections? I would rather have a Venusian wench for my wife than you, O Cornelia, mother of the Gracchi, if, with all your virtues, you bring me a haughty brow, and reckon up Triumphs as part of your marriage portion. [Juvenal]