[ swair ]
/ swɛər /
verb (used without object), swore or (Archaic) sware; sworn; swear·ing.
to make a solemn declaration or affirmation by some sacred being or object, as a deity or the Bible.
to bind oneself by oath.
to give evidence or make a statement on oath.
to use profane oaths or language: Don't swear in front of the children.
verb (used with object), swore or (Archaic) sware; sworn; swear·ing.
to declare, affirm, attest, etc., by swearing by a deity, some sacred object, etc.
to affirm, assert, or say with solemn earnestness.
to promise or undertake on oath or in a solemn manner; vow.
to testify or state on oath: He swore it on the witness stand.
to take (an oath), as in order to give solemnity or force to a declaration, promise, etc.
to bind by an oath: to swear someone to secrecy.
- to name (a sacred being or thing) as one's witness or guarantee in swearing.
- Informal. to have great confidence in; rely on: He swears by his dentist.
- to have certain knowledge of: I thought I saw him leaving, but I couldn't swear by it.
swear in, to admit to office or service by administering an oath: A new president will be sworn in today.
swear off, to promise or resolve to give up something, especially intoxicating beverages.
swear out, to secure (a warrant for arrest) by making an accusation under oath.
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Origin of swear
before 900; Middle English sweren, Old English swerian; cognate with German schwören, Old Norse sverja; akin to Gothic swaran to swear; see answer
synonym study for swear
4. See curse.
OTHER WORDS FROM swearswear·er, nounswear·ing·ly, adverbre·swear, verb, re·swore, re·sworn, re·swear·ing.un·der·swear·er, noun
Words nearby swear
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for swear off (1 of 2)
(intr, preposition) to promise to abstain from somethingto swear off drink
British Dictionary definitions for swear off (2 of 2)
/ (swɛə) /
verb swears, swearing, swore or sworn
to declare or affirm (a statement) as true, esp by invoking a deity, etc, as witness
(foll by by)
- to invoke (a deity, etc) by name as a witness or guarantee to an oath
- to trust implicitly; have complete confidence (in)
(intr often foll by at) to curse, blaspheme, or use swearwords
(when tr, may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to promise solemnly on oath; vow
(tr) to assert or affirm with great emphasis or earnestness
(intr) to give evidence or make any statement or solemn declaration on oath
to take an oath in order to add force or solemnity to (a statement or declaration)
swear blind informal to assert emphatically
a period of swearing
Derived forms of swearswearer, noun
Word Origin for swear
Old English swerian; related to Old Norse sverja, Gothic swaran, Old Frisian swera, German schwören
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
Idioms and Phrases with swear off
Pledge to renounce or give up, as in I've sworn off cigarettes. This expression was first used for abjuring liquor in the first half of the 1800s but has since been broadened to just about anything.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.