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.

Origin of swan

1
before 900; Middle English, Old English; cognate with German Schwan, Old Norse svanr
Related formsswan·like, adjective

Definition for swan (2 of 3)

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

Definition for swan (3 of 3)

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 (1 of 3)

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

British Dictionary definitions for swan (2 of 3)

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)

British Dictionary definitions for swan (3 of 3)

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