Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

swish

[swish]
See more 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.
  3. to move or behave in an exaggeratedly effeminate manner.
Show More
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.
  3. to flog or whip.
Show More
noun
  1. a swishing movement or sound.
  2. a stock or rod for flogging or a stroke with this.
  3. Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to an effeminate male homosexual.
Show More
adjective
  1. Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. swishy(def 2).
  2. Chiefly British Informal. stylishly elegant; fashionable.
Show More

Origin of swish

First recorded in 1750–60; imitative
Related formsswish·er, nounswish·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for swishing

splash, lick, grill, sear, crackle, fizzle, roast, sputter, broil, fly, flap, twirl, swing, wield, brandish, twist, shake, flutter, flit, whir

Examples from the Web for swishing

Historical Examples of swishing

  • Neither of them spoke, and the only sound was the swishing of the paddle.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • But his oil, all day long and all night too, was swishing in its 96tanks on the course to Zanzibar.

    Journeys to Bagdad

    Charles S. Brooks

  • I shouldn't mind the—the swishing so much if I'd done anything.

  • Helen's voice sang above their footsteps and the swishing of her dress.

    Moor Fires

    E. H. (Emily Hilda) Young

  • The heavy clouds and the swishing rain held no gloom for me.

    The Love Story of Abner Stone

    Edwin Carlile Litsey


British Dictionary definitions for swishing

swish

verb
  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
  3. (tr) slang, rare to whip; flog
  4. (tr foll by off) to cut with a swishing blow
Show More
noun
  1. a hissing or rustling sound or movement
  2. a rod for flogging or a blow from such a rod
  3. US slang an effeminate male homosexual
  4. a W African building material composed of mortar and mud or laterite, or more recently of cement and earth
Show More
adjective
  1. informal, mainly British fashionable; smart
  2. US slang effeminate and homosexual
Show More
Derived Formsswisher, nounswishing, adjectiveswishingly, adverb

Word Origin for swish

C18: of imitative origin
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 swishing

swish

v.

1756, probably imitative of the sound made by something brushing against or through something. Related: Swished; swishing.

Show More

swish

n.

1820, from swish (v.); sense of "effeminate homosexual" is 1930s in homosexual slang, probably from notion of mincing motion.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper