View synonyms for swing



[ swing ]

verb (used with object)

, swung, swing·ing.
  1. to cause to move to and fro, sway, or oscillate, as something suspended from above:

    to swing one's arms in walking.

  2. to cause to move in alternate directions or in either direction around a fixed point, on an axis, or on a line of support, as a door on hinges.
  3. to move (the hand or something held) with an oscillating or rotary movement:

    to swing one's fists; to swing a club around one's head.

  4. Aeronautics. to pull or turn (a propeller) by hand, especially in order to start the engine.
  5. to turn in a new direction in a curve, as if around a central point:

    to swing the car into the driveway.

  6. to suspend so as to hang freely, as a hammock or a door.
  7. Informal. to influence or win over; manage or arrange as desired:

    to swing votes; to swing a business deal.

  8. to direct, change, or shift (one's interest, opinion, support, etc.).
  9. to turn (a ship or aircraft) to various headings in order to check compass deviation.

verb (used without object)

, swung, swing·ing.
  1. to move or sway to and fro, as a pendulum or other suspended object.
  2. to move to and fro in a swing, as for recreation.
  3. to move in alternate directions or in either direction around a point, an axis, or a line of support, as a gate on its hinges.
  4. to move in a curve, as around a corner or central point:

    The highway swings to the east.

  5. to move with a free, swaying motion, as soldiers on the march.
  6. to be suspended so as to hang freely, as a bell or hammock.
  7. to move by grasping a support with the hands and drawing up the arms or using the momentum of the swaying body:

    a monkey swinging through trees.

  8. to change or shift one's attention, interest, opinion, condition, etc.:

    He swung from mere indifference to outright scorn.

  9. to hit at someone or something, with the hand or something grasped in the hand:

    The batter swung and struck out.

  10. Slang.
    1. to be characterized by a modern, lively atmosphere:

      Las Vegas swings all year.

    2. to be stylish, trendy, hip, etc., especially in pursuing enjoyment.
    3. to engage uninhibitedly in sexual activity.
    4. (of married couples) to exchange partners for sexual activity.
  11. Informal. to suffer death by hanging:

    He'll swing for the crime.


  1. the act, manner, or progression of swinging; movement in alternate directions or in a particular direction.

    Synonyms: oscillation, vibration, sway

  2. the amount or extent of such movement:

    to correct the swing of a pendulum.

    Synonyms: play, sweep, scope, range

  3. a curving movement or course.
  4. a moving of the body with a free, swaying motion, as in walking.
  5. a blow or stroke with the hand or an object grasped in the hands:

    His swing drove the ball over the fence.

  6. a change or shift in attitude, opinion, behavior, etc.
  7. a steady, marked rhythm or movement, as of verse or music.
  8. a regular upward or downward movement in the price of a commodity or of a security, or in any business activity.
  9. Informal.
    1. a work period coming between the regular day and night shifts.
    2. a change by a group of workers from working one shift to working another.
  10. freedom of action:

    to have free swing in carrying out a project.

  11. active operation; progression:

    to get into the swing of things.

  12. something that is swung or that swings.
  13. a seat suspended from above by means of a loop of rope or between ropes or rods, on which one may sit and swing to and fro for recreation.
  14. the maximum diameter of the work machinable in a certain lathe or other machine tool.


  1. of or relating to a swing.
  2. capable of determining the outcome, as of an election; deciding, as in swing vote swing voter
  3. designed or constructed to permit swinging or hanging.
  4. acting to relieve other workers when needed, as at night.



[ swing ]


  1. Also called Big Band music,. a style of jazz, popular especially in the 1930s and often arranged for a large dance band, marked by a smoother beat and more flowing phrasing than Dixieland and having less complex harmonies and rhythms than modern jazz.
  2. the rhythmic element that excites dancers and listeners to move in time to jazz music.


  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of swing:

    a swing record.

verb (used with object)

, swung, swing·ing.
  1. to play (music) in the style of swing.


/ swɪŋ /


  1. to move or cause to move rhythmically to and fro, as a free-hanging object; sway
  2. intr to move, walk, etc, with a relaxed and swaying motion
  3. to pivot or cause to pivot, as on a hinge
  4. to move or cause to move in a curve

    the car swung around the bend

  5. to move or cause to move by suspending or being suspended
  6. to hang or be hung so as to be able to turn freely
  7. slang.
    intr to be hanged

    he'll swing for it

  8. to alter or cause to alter habits, a course, etc
  9. informal.
    tr to influence or manipulate successfully

    I hope he can swing the deal

  10. trfoll byup to raise or hoist, esp in a sweeping motion
  11. introften foll byat to hit out or strike (at), esp with a sweeping motion
  12. tr to wave (a weapon, etc) in a sweeping motion; flourish
  13. to arrange or play (music) with the rhythmically flexible and compulsive quality associated with jazz
  14. intr (of popular music, esp jazz, or of the musicians who play it) to have this quality
  15. slang.
    to be lively and modern
  16. slang.
    intr to swap sexual partners in a group, esp habitually
  17. intr cricket to bowl (a ball) with swing or (of a ball) to move with a swing
  18. to turn (a ship or aircraft) in order to test compass error
  19. swing both ways slang.
    to enjoy sexual partners of both sexes
  20. swing the lead informal.
    to malinger or make up excuses


  1. the act or manner of swinging or the distance covered while swinging

    a wide swing

  2. a sweeping stroke or blow
  3. boxing a wide punch from the side similar to but longer than a hook
  4. cricket the lateral movement of a bowled ball through the air
  5. any free-swaying motion
  6. any curving movement; sweep
  7. something that swings or is swung, esp a suspended seat on which a person may sit and swing back and forth
    1. a kind of popular dance music influenced by jazz, usually played by big bands and originating in the 1930s
    2. ( as modifier )

      swing music

  8. prosody a steady distinct rhythm or cadence in prose or verse
  9. informal.
    the normal round or pace

    get into the swing of things

    1. a fluctuation, as in some business activity, voting pattern etc
    2. as modifier able to bring about a swing in a voting pattern

      swing party

    3. as modifier having a mixed voting history, and thus becoming a target for political election campaigners

      a swing state

  10. informal.
    free scope; freedom of activity
  11. a circular tour
  12. a tour of a particular area or region
  13. (in the North) a train of freight sleighs or canoes
  14. go with a swing
    to go well; be successful
  15. in full swing
    at the height of activity
  16. swings and roundabouts
    equal advantages and disadvantages


  1. A kind of jazz generally played by a “Big Band” and characterized by a lively rhythm suitable for dancing. The bands of Count Basie , Duke Ellington , Benny Goodman , and Glenn Miller played swing.

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Other Words From

  • swinga·ble adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of swing1

First recorded before 900; Middle English verb swingen “strike with a weapon, smite,” Old English swingan; cognate with German schwingen

Origin of swing2

First recorded in 1930–35 as swing band and swing music; special use of swing 1

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Word History and Origins

Origin of swing1

Old English swingan; related to Old Frisian swinga, Old High German swingan

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. in full swing, operating at the highest speed or level of activity; in full operation:

    Automobile production is in full swing.

  2. swing round the circle, to tour an area on a political campaign.
  3. take a swing at, to strike or attempt to strike with the fist:

    to take a swing at a rude waiter.

More idioms and phrases containing swing

In addition to the idiom beginning with swing , also see get into the swing of things ; in full swing ; not enough room to swing a car .

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Synonym Study

Swing, sway, oscillate, rock suggest a movement back and forth. Swing expresses the comparatively regular motion to and fro of a body supported from the end or ends, especially from above: A lamp swings from the ceiling. To sway is to swing gently and is used especially of fixed objects or of persons: Young oaks sway in the breeze. Oscillate refers to the smooth, regular, alternating movement of a body within certain limits between two fixed points. Rock indicates the slow and regular movement back and forth of a body, as on curved supports: A cradle rocks.

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Example Sentences

The trend is about the same in the swing states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin as nationally.

From Axios

Here are the shifts in each major swing state — defined as the states with more than a 1 percent chance of being the Electoral College tipping point, per the FiveThirtyEight model.

This is the fourth in a series of articles examining the politics and demographics of 2020’s expected swing states.

Family members who offered me places to stay live in red or swing states where I’d dread walking into grocery stores packed with people proudly refusing to wear masks.

Today, the president has traveled to Kenosha, one of the swingiest cities in a swing state poised to decide his fate.

From Fortune

Asian-Americans are a group of persuadable swing voters, growing faster than any other group in America today.

Truth is, no one is sure how Cuba will play in the critical swing state of Florida in 2016.

Before Fidel, when segregation was in full swing, the Cuban apartheid meant many clubs and parks still refused black Cubans entry.

We arrived to the din of a party in full swing: a band, multiple kegs of beer, dancing, foosball, and mantle diving.

Instead, he gives his very best effort and tries to win the World Series with a single swing of his bat.

Those soaring columns held up the very sky, and their foundations made the earth itself swing true.

While a one-step was in full swing some would-be wag suddenly turned off all the lights.

And they have a free wild grace, a stride, a swing—it is wonderful to watch them go up these hills.

Could the bleating of the sheep swing in sweeter to the music of the valley as she is rocked to sleep?

She had to lie in bed all the time; for not long ago she had a bad fall from a swing, and hurt her spine.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




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