Origin of swart

before 900; Middle English; Old English sweart black, dark; cognate with German schwarz, Old Norse svartr, Gothic swarts; akin to Latin sordēs filth
Related formsswart·ness, noun




Charles Rob·berts [rob-erts] /ˈrɒb ərts/, 1894–1982, South African statesman: president 1961–67.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for swart

Historical Examples of swart

  • "P'raps I don't," said the swart man; and lapsed into a fuming silence.

    Tales of Space and Time

    Herbert George Wells

  • Her hair was silvery, and contrasted strangely with her swart face.

  • All,” answered Swart, “save the few fighting men that gained the fells.

    Erling the Bold

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • "Time is done," said Swart Piet, replacing the watch in his pocket.


    H. Rider Haggard

  • She has escaped from Swart Piet and is unharmed, but a prisoner among the Kaffirs.


    H. Rider Haggard

British Dictionary definitions for swart


swarth (swɔːθ)


archaic, or dialect swarthy
Derived Formsswartness or swarthness, noun

Word Origin for swart

Old English sweart; related to Old Frisian swart, Old Norse svartr, Old High German swarz black, Latin sordēs dirt; see sordid
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 swart

Old English sweart "black," from Proto-Germanic *swartaz (cf. Old Frisian and Middle Dutch swart, Old Norse svartr, German schwarz, Gothic swarts "dark-colored, black"), from PIE root *swordo- "dirty, dark, black" (source of sordid). The true Germanic word for "black," surviving in the Continental languages.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper