[ swiv-uh l ]
/ ˈswɪv əl /


verb (used with object), swiv·eled, swiv·el·ing or (especially British) swiv·elled, swiv·el·ling.

to turn or pivot on or as if on a swivel: He swiveled his chair around.
to fasten by a swivel; furnish with a swivel.

verb (used without object), swiv·eled, swiv·el·ing or (especially British) swiv·elled, swiv·el·ling.

to turn on or if as on a swivel.


Can You Ace This Quiz About “Compliment” vs. “Complement”?
Take this quiz to see if you really know the difference between “compliment” and “complement"!
Question 1 of 11
“Compliment” and “complement” had a shared meaning a long time ago, but today they are no longer interchangeable.

Origin of swivel

1275–1325; Middle English (noun), equivalent to swiv- (weak stem of Old English swīfan to revolve; cognate with Old Norse svīfa to turn) + -el instrumental suffix


swiv·el·like, adjectiveun·swiv·el, verb (used with object), un·swiv·eled, un·swiv·el·ing or (especially British) un·swiv·elled, un·swiv·el·ling.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for swivel

British Dictionary definitions for swivel

/ (ˈswɪvəl) /


a coupling device which allows an attached object to turn freely
such a device made of two parts which turn independently, such as a compound link of a chain
  1. a pivot on which is mounted a gun that may be swung from side to side in a horizontal plane
  2. Also called: swivel gun the gun itself

verb -els, -elling or -elled or US -els, -eling or -eled

to turn or swing on or as if on a pivot
(tr) to provide with, secure by, or support with a swivel

Derived forms of swivel

swivel-like, adjective

Word Origin for swivel

C14: from Old English swīfan to turn; see swift
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