- moving or capable of moving with great speed or velocity; fleet; rapid: a swift ship.
- coming, happening, or performed quickly or without delay: a swift decision.
- quick or prompt to act or respond: swift to jump to conclusions.
- Slang. quick to perceive or understand; smart; clever: You can't cheat him, he's too swift.
- any of numerous long-winged, swallowlike birds of the family Apodidae, related to the hummingbirds and noted for their rapid flight.
- tree swift.
- spiny lizard.
- Also called swift moth, ghost moth. any of several brown or gray moths, the males of which are usually white, of the family Hepialidae, noted for rapid flight.
- an adjustable device upon which a hank of yarn is placed in order to wind off skeins or balls.
- the main cylinder on a machine for carding flax.
Origin of swift
Synonyms for swift
- any of five species of fast-flying moths of the family Hepialidae, regarded as primitive in development, having forewings and hind wings similar in size and shape: the best known is the ghost swift, Hepialus humiliOften shortened to: swift
- moving or able to move quickly; fast
- occurring or performed quickly or suddenly; instanta swift response
- (postpositive foll by to) prompt to act or respondswift to take revenge
- swiftly or quickly
- (in combination)swift-moving
- 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
- (sometimes capital) a variety of domestic fancy pigeon originating in Egypt and Syria and having an appearance somewhat similar to a swift
- short for swift moth
- any of certain North American lizards of the genera Sceloporus and Uta that can run very rapidly: family Iguanidae (iguanas)
- the main cylinder in a carding machine
- an expanding circular frame used to hold skeins of silk, wool, etc
Word Origin for swift
- 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)
- 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)
Old English swift "moving quickly," related to swifan "move in a course, sweep" (see swivel). Related: Swiftly; swiftness.
type of bird (several species of the family Cypselidæ, resembling swallows), 1660s, from swift (adj.) in reference to its swift flight. Regarded as a bird of ill-omen, if not downright demonic, probably for its shrill cry. The name earlier had been given to several small fast lizards (1520s).