[ swift ]
See synonyms for swift on Thesaurus.com
adjective,swift·er, swift·est.
  1. moving or capable of moving with great speed or velocity; fleet; rapid: a swift ship.

  2. coming, happening, or performed quickly or without delay: a swift decision.

  1. quick or prompt to act or respond: swift to jump to conclusions.

  2. Slang. quick to perceive or understand; smart; clever: You can't cheat him, he's too swift.

  1. swiftly.

  1. any of numerous long-winged, swallowlike birds of the family Apodidae, related to the hummingbirds and noted for their rapid flight.

  1. Also called swift moth [swift-mawth, moth], /ˈswɪft ˌmɔθ, mɒθ/, ghost moth. any of several brown or gray moths, the males of which are usually white, of the family Hepialidae, noted for rapid flight.

  2. an adjustable device upon which a hank of yarn is placed in order to wind off skeins or balls.

  3. the main cylinder on a machine for carding flax.

Origin of swift

First recorded before 900; Middle English (adjective and adverb), Old English (adjective); akin to Old English swīfan “to revolve,” Old Norse svīfa “to rove”; see swivel

synonym study For swift

1. See quick.

Other words for swift

Other words from swift

  • swift·ly, adverb
  • swift·ness, noun

Words Nearby swift

Other definitions for Swift (2 of 3)

[ swift ]

  1. Gustavus Franklin, 1839–1903, U.S. meat packer.

  2. Jonathan "Isaac Bickerstaff", 1667–1745, English satirist and clergyman, born in Ireland.

Other definitions for SWIFT (3 of 3)

[ swift ]

  1. Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication: an international consortium that routes instructions concerning transfer of funds between financial institutions.

Origin of SWIFT

First recorded in 1970–75

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use swift in a sentence

  • And he was gone, and out of sight on the swift galloping Benito, before Father Gaspara bethought himself.

    Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
  • Dean swift was indeed a misanthrope by theory, however he may have made exception to private life.

    Gulliver's Travels | Jonathan Swift
  • Sanson's Atlas: a very large atlas by a French geographer in use in swift's time.

    Gulliver's Travels | Jonathan Swift
  • The sound of the swift beating of horse-hoofs was heard from the south, and soon three men came riding up.

  • Long before reason found the answer, instinct—swift, merciless interpreter—told him plainly.

    The Wave | Algernon Blackwood

British Dictionary definitions for swift (1 of 2)


/ (swɪft) /

  1. moving or able to move quickly; fast

  2. occurring or performed quickly or suddenly; instant: a swift response

  1. (postpositive foll by to) prompt to act or respond: swift to take revenge

    • swiftly or quickly

    • (in combination): swift-moving

  1. any bird of the families Apodidae and Hemiprocnidae, such as Apus apus (common swift) of the Old World: order Apodiformes. They have long narrow wings and spend most of the time on the wing

  2. (sometimes capital) a variety of domestic fancy pigeon originating in Egypt and Syria and having an appearance somewhat similar to a swift

  1. short for swift moth

  2. any of certain North American lizards of the genera Sceloporus and Uta that can run very rapidly: family Iguanidae (iguanas)

  3. the main cylinder in a carding machine

  4. an expanding circular frame used to hold skeins of silk, wool, etc

Origin of swift

Old English, from swīfan to turn; related to Old Norse svifa to rove, Old Frisian swīvia to waver, Old High German sweib a reversal; see swivel

Derived forms of swift

  • swiftly, adverb
  • swiftness, noun

British Dictionary definitions for Swift (2 of 2)


/ (swɪft) /

  1. Graham Colin. born 1949, English writer: his novels include Waterland (1983), Last Orders (1996), which won the Booker prize, and The Light of Day (2002)

  2. Jonathan. 1667–1745, Anglo-Irish satirist and churchman, who became dean of St Patrick's, Dublin, in 1713. His works include A Tale of a Tub (1704) and Gulliver's Travels (1726)

Derived forms of Swift

  • Swiftian, adjective

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