[ swangk ]
/ swæŋk /


dashing smartness, as in dress or appearance; style.
a swagger.

adjective, swank·er, swank·est.

stylish or elegant.
pretentiously stylish.

verb (used without object)

to swagger in behavior; show off.

Origin of swank

1800–10; compare Scots swank lively, perhaps ultimately representing back formation from Old English swancor lithe; akin to Middle Dutch swanc supple, Middle High German swanken to sway
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for swanker


/ (swæŋk) informal /


(intr) to show off or swagger


Also called: swankpot British a swaggering or conceited person
mainly US elegance or style, esp of a showy kind
swagger; ostentation


another word (esp US) for swanky

Word Origin for swank

C19: perhaps from Middle High German swanken to sway; see swag
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 swanker


1809, "to strut" (swanky, n., "attractive young fellow" is recorded from 1508), perhaps related to Middle High German swanken "to sway, totter," and Old High German swingan "to swing." Said to have been a Midlands and southwestern England dialectal word. The noun meaning "ostentatious behavior" is recorded from 1854; adjective sense of "stylish, classy, posh" is from 1913.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper