- to move in water by movements of the limbs, fins, tail, etc.
- to float on the surface of water or some other liquid.
- to move, rest, or be suspended in air as if swimming in water.
- to move, glide, or go smoothly over a surface.
- to be immersed or steeped in or overflowing or flooded with a liquid: eyes swimming with tears.
- to be dizzy or giddy; seem to whirl: My head began to swim.
- to move along in or cross (a body of water) by swimming: to swim a lake.
- to perform (a particular stroke) in swimming: to swim a sidestroke.
- to cause to swim or float, as on a stream.
- to furnish with sufficient water to swim or float.
- an act, instance, or period of swimming.
- a motion as of swimming; a smooth, gliding movement.
- in the swim, alert to or actively engaged in events; in the thick of things: Despite her age, she is still in the swim.
Origin of swim
Examples from the Web for swim
Her downfall came about, because for a second she forgot that to swim in the shark pool, you have to always act like a shark.‘Housewife Tycoon’ Took On ‘Mad Men’ NYC Real Estate Market and Won
October 26, 2014
My father used to swim in these fountains, to cool off from the heat and to make my mother laugh.Those Kansas City Blues: A Family History
October 24, 2014
(She addresses me in various terms of endearment, as one would an old friend, and invites me to swim in her pool after lunch).Gail Sheehy Books Passage to the Past
September 3, 2014
One year ago, Diana Nyad completed her 35-year quest to do the impossible: a 53-hour swim from Cuba to Florida.From Havana to Hero: Diana Nyad’s 35-Year Quest
September 2, 2014
"She says she cannot swim, and the girl cannot swim," Hassan says.Whatever You Do Someone Will Die. A Short Story About Impossible Choices in Iraq
Nathan Bradley Bethea
August 31, 2014
Allen was mounted on the major's charger, and was ordered to swim the river.A Sketch of the Life of Brig. Gen. Francis Marion
William Dobein James
He was not fair to Vavasor; he never asked if he could swim.
But indeed Vavasor could swim, well enough, only he did not see the necessity for it.
In his hurry, Campbell missed his footing, and fell overboard:—he could not swim.Tales And Novels, Volume 5 (of 10)
I could not swim a stroke; and I sang out, lustily, for help.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
- (intr) to move along in water, etc, by means of movements of the body or parts of the body, esp the arms and legs, or (in the case of fish) tail and fins
- (tr) to cover (a distance or stretch of water) in this way
- (tr) to compete in (a race) in this way
- (intr) to be supported by and on a liquid; float
- (tr) to use (a particular stroke) in swimming
- (intr) to move smoothly, usually through air or over a surface
- (intr) to reel or seem to reelmy head swam; the room swam around me
- (intr; often foll by in or with) to be covered or flooded with water or other liquid
- (intr often foll by in) to be liberally supplied (with)he's swimming in money
- (tr) to cause to float or swim
- (tr) to provide (something) with water deep enough to float in
- swim against the tide or swim against the stream to resist prevailing opinion
- swim with the tide or swim with the stream to conform to prevailing opinion
- the act, an instance, or period of swimming
- any graceful gliding motion
- a condition of dizziness; swoon
- a pool in a river good for fishing
- in the swim informal fashionable or active in social or political activities
Word Origin and History for swim
Old English swimman "to move in or on the water, float" (class III strong verb; past tense swamm, past participle swummen), from Proto-Germanic *swemjanan (cf. Old Saxon and Old High German swimman, Old Norse svimma, Dutch zwemmen, German schwimmen), from PIE root *swem- "to be in motion."
The root is sometimes said to be restricted to Germanic, but possible cognates are Welsh chwyf "motion," Old Irish do-sennaim "I hunt," Lithuanian sundyti "to chase." For the usual Indo-European word, see natatorium. Sense of "reel or move unsteadily" first recorded 1670s; of the head or brain, from 1702. Figurative phrase sink or swim is attested from mid-15c., often with reference to ordeals of suspected witches.
1540s, "the clear part of any liquid" (above the sediment), from swim (v.). Meaning "part of a river or stream frequented by fish" (and hence fishermen) is from 1828, and is probably the source of the figurative meaning "the current of the latest affairs or events" (1869).
Idioms and Phrases with swim
In addition to the idioms beginning with swim
- swim against the current
- swim with the tide
- in the swim
- sink or swim