verb (used without object), swerved, swerv·ing.

to turn aside abruptly in movement or direction; deviate suddenly from the straight or direct course.

verb (used with object), swerved, swerv·ing.

to cause to turn aside: Nothing could swerve him.


an act of swerving; turning aside.

Origin of swerve

1175–1225; Middle English swerven (v.); Old English sweorfan to rub, file; cognate with Dutch zwerven to rove, Old High German swerban, Old Norse sverfa to file, Gothic afswairban to wipe off
Related formsun·swerved, adjectiveun·swerv·ing, adjectiveun·swerv·ing·ly, adverbun·swerv·ing·ness, noun

Synonym study

1. See deviate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unswervingly

Historical Examples of unswervingly

  • How such a creation of the devil's can love you so unswervingly is more than I can fathom.

    Brothers of Peril

    Theodore Goodridge Roberts

  • Naturally she was unswervingly convinced of the reality of her visions.

  • Cumshaw's eyes were frank and clear, and met his unswervingly.

    The Lost Valley

    J. M. Walsh

  • So when he swung round they followed him as unswervingly as they would have followed Kid.

    Baldy of Nome

    Esther Birdsall Darling

  • It showed an amazing tenacity, and the common people of Russia sustained it unswervingly under conditions of extreme hardship.

British Dictionary definitions for unswervingly



to turn or cause to turn aside, usually sharply or suddenly, from a course
(tr) to avoid (a person or event)


the act, instance, or degree of swerving
Derived Formsswervable, adjectiveswerver, noun

Word Origin for swerve

Old English sweorfan to scour; related to Old High German swerban to wipe off, Gothic afswairban to wipe off, Old Norse sverfa to file
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 unswervingly



early 13c., "to depart, make off;" early 14c., "to turn aside, deviate from a straight course," probably from Old English sweorfan "to rub, scour, file" (but sense development is difficult to trace), from Proto-Germanic *swerbanan (cf Old Norse sverfa "to scour, file," Old Saxon swebran "to wipe off"), from PIE root *swerbh-. Cognate words in other Germanic languages (cf. Old Frisian swerva "to creep," Middle Dutch swerven "to rove, stray") suggests the sense of "go off, turn aside" may have existed in Old English, though unrecorded. Related: Swerved; swerving.



1741, from swerve (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper