[ swair ]
See synonyms for swear on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object),swore [swawr] /swɔr/ or (Archaic) sware [swair]; /swɛər/; sworn [swawrn]; /swɔrn/; swear·ing.
  1. to make a solemn declaration or affirmation by some sacred being or object, as a deity or the Bible.

  2. to bind oneself by oath.

  1. to give evidence or make a statement on oath.

  2. to use profane oaths or language: Don't swear in front of the children.

verb (used with object),swore [swawr] /swɔr/ or (Archaic) sware [swair]; /swɛər/; sworn [swawrn]; /swɔrn/; swear·ing.
  1. to declare, affirm, attest, etc., by swearing by a deity, some sacred object, etc.

  2. to affirm, assert, or say with solemn earnestness.

  1. to promise or undertake on oath or in a solemn manner; vow.

  2. to testify or state on oath: He swore it on the witness stand.

  3. to take (an oath), as in order to give solemnity or force to a declaration, promise, etc.

  4. to bind by an oath: to swear someone to secrecy.

  1. Informal. a profane or obscene word; curse word: If we said a swear, Mom made us put a quarter in the jar.Heads-up—this movie trailer is full of swears and is NSFW.

Verb Phrases
  1. swear by,

    • 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.

  2. swear in, to admit to office or service by administering an oath: A new president will be sworn in today.

  1. swear off, to promise or resolve to give up something: I've decided to swear off the internet one day a week.Have you sworn off red meat?

  2. swear out, to secure (a warrant for arrest) by making an accusation under oath.

Origin of swear

First recorded 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 for swear

Other words from swear

  • swear·er, noun
  • swear·ing·ly, adverb
  • re·swear, verb, re·swore, re·sworn, re·swear·ing.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use swear in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for swear


/ (swɛə) /

verbswears, swearing, swore or sworn
  1. to declare or affirm (a statement) as true, esp by invoking a deity, etc, as witness

  2. (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)

  1. (intr often foll by at) to curse, blaspheme, or use swearwords

  2. (when tr, may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to promise solemnly on oath; vow

  3. (tr) to assert or affirm with great emphasis or earnestness

  4. (intr) to give evidence or make any statement or solemn declaration on oath

  5. to take an oath in order to add force or solemnity to (a statement or declaration)

  6. swear blind informal to assert emphatically

  1. a period of swearing

Origin of swear

Old English swerian; related to Old Norse sverja, Gothic swaran, Old Frisian swera, German schwören

Derived forms of swear

  • swearer, noun

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