[ swith-er ]

nounBritish Dialect.
  1. a state of confusion, excitement, or perplexity.

Origin of swither

1495–1505; origin uncertain; compare Old English geswithrian to retire, dwindle, fail

Words Nearby swither

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

How to use swither in a sentence

  • He seemed to be in a swither whether to return home, to follow ye, or to lie down and die by the road.

  • Strong cruel brutes, they did not swither a moment, but both leaped at M'Iver's throat.

    John Splendid | Neil Munro
  • The whole works ud be in a swither 'fore iver we'd time to ax what was comin'.

  • Meanwhile the big mother moose was thrashing around in the bushes in a terrible swither, calling her calf to come.

    Wood Folk at School | William J. Long
  • A the folk say there was nae doubt about it, and sae does my mother, but my father was aye in a swither; he thought it couldna be.

    Merkland | Mrs. Oliphant

British Dictionary definitions for swither


/ (ˈswɪðər) Scot /

  1. to hesitate; vacillate; be perplexed

  1. hesitation; perplexity; agitation

Origin of swither

C16: of unknown 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