noun, plural swine.

any stout, cloven-hoofed artiodactyl of the Old World family Suidae, having a thick hide sparsely covered with coarse hair, a disklike snout, and an often short, tasseled tail: now of worldwide distribution and hunted or raised for its meat and other products.Compare hog, pig1, wild boar.
the domestic hog, Sus scrofa.
a coarse, gross, or brutishly sensual person.
a contemptible person.

Origin of swine

before 900; Middle English; Old English swīn; cognate with German Schwein hog, Latin suīnus (adj.) porcine; akin to sow2
Related formsswine·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for swine

hog, pig, boar, porker, peccary, beast, brute, sow

Examples from the Web for swine

Contemporary Examples of swine

Historical Examples of swine

  • Swine were the natural companions of the prodigal, and the sooner he was with them the better!

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • So Pryderi gave Gwyd the swine, and he quickly drove them off.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis

  • As to your pigs and baboons, you are yourself a pig, and you make my writings a sport of other swine.

  • But Jabez had not forgotten the similitude of the swine ring.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

  • He had been ruminating on Gubblum's observation about the swine ring.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

British Dictionary definitions for swine



plural swines a coarse or contemptible person
plural swine another name for a pig
Derived Formsswinelike, adjectiveswinish, adjectiveswinishly, adverbswinishness, noun

Word Origin for swine

Old English swīn; related to Old Norse svīn, Gothic swein, Latin suīnus relating to swine
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

Word Origin and History for swine

Old English swin "pig, hog," from Proto-Germanic *swinan (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian Middle Low German, Old High German swin, Middle Dutch swijn, Dutch zwijn, German Schwein), neuter adjective (with suffix *-ino-) from PIE *su- (see sow (n.)). The native word, largely ousted by pig. Applied to persons from late 14c. Phrase pearls before swine (mid-14c.) is from Matt. vii:6; an early English formation of it was:

Ne ge ne wurpen eowre meregrotu toforan eo wrum swynon. [c.1000]

The Latin word was confused in French with marguerite "daisy" (the "pearl" of the field), and in Dutch the expression became "roses before swine."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with swine


see cast pearls before swine.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.