a native or inhabitant of Sweden.
(lowercase) Chiefly British. a rutabaga.

Origin of Swede

1580–90; < Middle Dutch or Middle Low German; cognate with German Schwede; compare Old English Swēon (plural), Old Norse Svēar, Svīar, Medieval Latin Suiōnes
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for swede

Contemporary Examples of swede

Historical Examples of swede

  • He was a young Swede, a fine, handsome youth, about twenty years of age.

    Georgie's Present

    Miss Brightwell

  • "Shut up, you big Swede, go and learn English," somebody said.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • It was far from what the Swede had expected; but he accepted the task, obediently.

  • Her captain was a Swede, and knowing me for a seaman, invited me on the bridge.

    Heart of Darkness

    Joseph Conrad

  • The Swede was as much distressed as Morrison; for he understood the other's feelings perfectly.


    Joseph Conrad

British Dictionary definitions for swede



a Eurasian plant, Brassica napus (or B. napobrassica), cultivated for its bulbous edible root, which is used as a vegetable and as cattle fodder: family Brassicaceae (crucifers)
the root of this plant
NZ a slang word for head (def. 1)
Also called (for senses 1, 2): Swedish turnip, (US and Canadian) rutabaga

Word Origin for swede

C19: so called after being introduced into Scotland from Sweden in the 18th century



a native, citizen, or inhabitant of Sweden
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 swede



1610s, from Low German, from Middle Low German Swede, back-formed from a source akin to Old English Sweoðeod, literally "Swede-people," from Sweon (plural) "Swedes" (Old Norse, Old Swedish Sviar), called by the Romans Suiones, probably from Proto-Germanic *sweba "free, independent," or else from *geswion "kinsman."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper