- to turn aside abruptly in movement or direction; deviate suddenly from the straight or direct course.
- to cause to turn aside: Nothing could swerve him.
- an act of swerving; turning aside.
Origin of swerve
Related Words for swervedeflect, stray, skid, veer, lurch, wander, sheer, sidestep, depart, incline, err, shift, skew, move, diverge, turn, tack, bend, waver, swing
Examples from the Web for swerve
Contemporary Examples of swerve
Motorcycles roar and swerve around women who balance soaring bundles confidently on their heads.‘Argo’ in the Congo: The Ghosts of the Stanleyville Hostage Crisis
November 23, 2014
They kept the Portuguese in check, matching them tackle for tackle, swerve for swerve.Team USA 2, Portugal 2: Seconds Away From World Cup Glory
June 23, 2014
This kind of swerve has been ventured before and it led to an electoral dead end.Democrats Must Run on Obamacare in November
March 17, 2014
The Swerve won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
It moved past them at a walking pace, with an odd, irregular bob and swerve like a spinning top.Benjamin Franklin, America’s First Storm Chaser
April 14, 2013
Historical Examples of swerve
In a swerve he almost stopped, every muscle of his big body trembling in affright.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
It has fixed rules which are the props of order, and will not swerve or bend in extreme cases.Statesman
The Arcadians did not swerve: in compact order they waited impassively.Hellenica
And even now it was held to be undignified to swerve from that doctrine.England and Germany
Emile Joseph Dillon
He would not swerve from the line of duty which he had marked out.Paul Prescott's Charge
- to turn or cause to turn aside, usually sharply or suddenly, from a course
- (tr) to avoid (a person or event)
- the act, instance, or degree of swerving
Word Origin for swerve
early 13c., "to depart, make off;" early 14c., "to turn aside, deviate from a straight course," probably from Old English sweorfan "to rub, scour, file" (but sense development is difficult to trace), from Proto-Germanic *swerbanan (cf Old Norse sverfa "to scour, file," Old Saxon swebran "to wipe off"), from PIE root *swerbh-. Cognate words in other Germanic languages (cf. Old Frisian swerva "to creep," Middle Dutch swerven "to rove, stray") suggests the sense of "go off, turn aside" may have existed in Old English, though unrecorded. Related: Swerved; swerving.
1741, from swerve (v.).