[ swish ]
See synonyms for swish on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object)
  1. to move with or make a sibilant sound, as a slender rod cutting sharply through the air or as small waves washing on the shore.

  2. to rustle, as silk.

  1. to move or behave in an exaggeratedly effeminate manner.

verb (used with object)
  1. to flourish, whisk, etc., with a swishing movement or sound: to swish a cane.

  2. to bring, take, cut, etc., with such a movement or sound: to swish off the tops of plants with a cane.

  1. to flog or whip.

  1. a swishing movement or sound.

  2. a stock or rod for flogging or a stroke with this.

  1. Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to an effeminate gay man.

  1. Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. swishy (def. 2).

  2. Chiefly British Informal. stylishly elegant; fashionable.

Origin of swish

First recorded in 1750–60; imitative

Other words from swish

  • swish·er, noun
  • swish·ing·ly, adverb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

British Dictionary definitions for swish


/ (swɪʃ) /

  1. to move with or make or cause to move with or make a whistling or hissing sound

  2. (intr) (esp of fabrics) to rustle

  1. (tr) slang, rare to whip; flog

  2. (tr foll by off) to cut with a swishing blow

  1. a hissing or rustling sound or movement

  2. a rod for flogging or a blow from such a rod

  1. US slang an effeminate male homosexual

  2. a W African building material composed of mortar and mud or laterite, or more recently of cement and earth

  1. informal, mainly British fashionable; smart

  2. US slang effeminate and homosexual

Origin of swish

C18: of imitative origin

Derived forms of swish

  • swisher, noun
  • swishing, adjective
  • swishingly, adverb

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