- 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 swimmers
Contemporary Examples of swimmers
He provided a description of himself—blond, blue-eyed, healthy—and even offered up his swimmers at no cost.The Sperm Donor Trap: Should Your DNA Follow You for Life?
January 10, 2013
Swimmers now enjoy its 12,000-square-meter aquatic theme park.Architectural White Elephants: Beijing, London, and the Post-Olympics Curse
August 14, 2012
She lived in a dormitory, joining some 80 other swimmers; their practice sessions ran an exhausting five-and-a-half hours a day.China’s Olympic Soul-Searching: What the Games Have Taught the Country
Melinda Liu, Paul Mooney
August 12, 2012
“I have seen it for years with the gay community being fans of swimmers, wrestlers, etc.,” said Onorato, who is gay.The Olympics or Soft Porn? Female, Gay Fans Gawking at Male Athletes
August 3, 2012
The top 16 swimmers from the heats progress to the semifinals, and the top eight then advance to the final.Austrian Markus Rogan: Olympic Swimming’s Dark Horse
July 29, 2012
Historical Examples of swimmers
In the sea, just below him, several heads of swimmers moved.A Spirit in Prison
Small parcels were carried over on the heads of the swimmers.Byeways in Palestine
Men and horses dived into the gale as swimmers dive into a breaker.
The swimmers had not been in the water more than five minutes when the cry of "Crocodiles!"Four Young Explorers
The swimmers no longer directed themselves in a particular course.The Ocean Waifs
- Australian a swimming costume
- (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 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).
In addition to the idioms beginning with swim
- swim against the current
- swim with the tide
- in the swim
- sink or swim