verb (used without object), swam, swum, swim·ming.
verb (used with object), swam, swum, swim·ming.
Origin of swim
Related Words for swumbathe, glide, dive, float, paddle, submerge, wade, crawl, move, slip, practice, stroke, race, freestyle, skinny-dip, dog-paddle
Examples from the Web for swum
Historical Examples of swum
The poor man had not swum so far for many years, and was nearly spent.Weighed and Wanting
Had I swum another yard, I should have passed the boat, and missed her altogether!Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
Had it been a matter of my life only, I would have swum to meet him.The Prisoner of Zenda
She brought them up the river; and then they were dumped into the water, and swum ashore.Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2)
William Delisle Hay
He swum ashore to the beach and, inside of a week, he'd shipped aboard the Emily.Cape Cod Stories
Joseph C. Lincoln
verb swims, swimming, swam or swum
Word Origin for swim
Old English swimman "to move in or on the water, float" (class III strong verb; past tense swamm, past participle swummen), from Proto-Germanic *swemjanan (cf. Old Saxon and Old High German swimman, Old Norse svimma, Dutch zwemmen, German schwimmen), from PIE root *swem- "to be in motion."
The root is sometimes said to be restricted to Germanic, but possible cognates are Welsh chwyf "motion," Old Irish do-sennaim "I hunt," Lithuanian sundyti "to chase." For the usual Indo-European word, see natatorium. Sense of "reel or move unsteadily" first recorded 1670s; of the head or brain, from 1702. Figurative phrase sink or swim is attested from mid-15c., often with reference to ordeals of suspected witches.
1540s, "the clear part of any liquid" (above the sediment), from swim (v.). Meaning "part of a river or stream frequented by fish" (and hence fishermen) is from 1828, and is probably the source of the figurative meaning "the current of the latest affairs or events" (1869).
In addition to the idioms beginning with swim
- swim against the current
- swim with the tide
- in the swim
- sink or swim