swan

1
[ swon ]
/ swɒn /
|

noun

any of several large, stately aquatic birds of the subfamily Anserinae, having a long, slender neck and usually pure-white plumage in the adult.Compare mute swan, trumpeter swan, whistling swan, whooper swan.
a person or thing of unusual beauty, excellence, purity, or the like.
Literary. a person who sings sweetly or a poet.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Cygnus.

Nearby words

  1. swamphen,
  2. swampland,
  3. swampscott,
  4. swampy,
  5. swamy,
  6. swan dive,
  7. swan lake,
  8. swan lake, the,
  9. swan maiden,
  10. swan neck

Origin of swan

1
before 900; Middle English, Old English; cognate with German Schwan, Old Norse svanr

Related formsswan·like, adjective

swan

2
[ swon ]
/ swɒn /

verb (used without object)

Midland and Southern U.S. Older Use. to swear or declare (used with I): Well, I swan, I never expected to see you here!

Origin of swan

2
1775–85, Americanism; probably continuing dial. (N England) I s'wan, shortening of I shall warrant

Swan

[ swon ]
/ swɒn /

noun

Sir Joseph Wilson,1828–1914, British chemist, electrical engineer, and inventor.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for swan


British Dictionary definitions for swan

swan

/ (swɒn) /

noun

any large aquatic bird of the genera Cygnus and Coscoroba, having a long neck and usually a white plumage: family Anatidae, order Anseriformes
rare, literary
  1. a poet
  2. (capital when part of a title or epithet)the Swan of Avon (Shakespeare)

verb swans, swanning or swanned

(intr; usually foll by around or about) informal to wander idly
Derived Formsswanlike, adjective

Word Origin for swan

Old English; related to Old Norse svanr, Middle Low German swōn

Swan

1
/ (swɒn) /

noun

a river in SW Western Australia, rising as the Avon northeast of Narrogin and flowing northwest and west to the Indian Ocean below Perth. Length: about 240 km (150 miles)

Swan

2
/ (swɒn) /

noun

Sir Joseph Wilson. 1828–1914, English physicist and chemist, who developed the incandescent electric light (1880) independently of Edison
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 swan

swan

n.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper