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Webster 1913 Edition


Swim

Swim

,
Verb.
I.
[
imp.
Swam
or
Swum
;
p. p.
Swum
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Swimming
.]
[AS.
swimman
; akin to D.
zwemmen
, OHG.
swimman
, G.
schwimmen
, Icel.
svimma
, Dan.
swömme
, Sw.
simma
. Cf.
Sound
an air bladder, a strait.]
1.
To be supported by water or other fluid; not to sink; to float;
as, any substance will
swim
, whose specific gravity is less than that of the fluid in which it is immersed
.
2.
To move progressively in water by means of strokes with the hands and feet, or the fins or the tail.
Leap in with me into this angry flood,
And
swim
to yonder point.
Shakespeare
3.
To be overflowed or drenched.
Ps. vi. 6.
Sudden the ditches swell, the meadows
swim
.
Thomson.
4.
Fig.: To be as if borne or floating in a fluid.
[They] now
swim
in joy.
Milton.
5.
To be filled with swimming animals.
[Obs.]
[Streams] that
swim
full of small fishes.
Chaucer.

Swim

,
Verb.
T.
1.
To pass or move over or on by swimming;
as, to
swim
a stream
.
Sometimes he thought to
swim
the stormy main.
Dryden.
2.
To cause or compel to swim; to make to float;
as, to
swim
a horse across a river
.
3.
To immerse in water that the lighter parts may float;
as, to
swim
wheat in order to select seed
.

Swim

,
Noun.
1.
The act of swimming; a gliding motion, like that of one swimming.
B. Jonson.
2.
The sound, or air bladder, of a fish.
3.
A part of a stream much frequented by fish.
[Eng.]
Swim bladder
,
an air bladder of a fish.
To be in the swim
,
to be in a favored position; to be associated with others in active affairs.
[Colloq.]

Swim

,
Verb.
I.
[OE.
swime
dizziness, vertigo, AS.
swīma
; akin to D.
zwijm
, Icel.
svimi
dizziness,
svina
to subside,
svīa
to abate, G.
schwindel
dizziness,
schwinden
to disappear, to dwindle, OHG.
swīnan
to dwindle. Cf.
Squemish
,
Swindler
.]
To be dizzy; to have an unsteady or reeling sensation;
as, the head
swims
.

Webster 1828 Edition


Swim

SWIM

, v.i.
1.
To float; to be supported on water or other fluid; not to sink. Most species of wood will swim in water. Any substance will swim, whose specific gravity is less than that of the fluid in which it is immersed.
2.
To move progressively in water by means of the motion of the hands and feet, or of fins. In Paris, boys are taught to swim by instructors appointed for that purpose. Is.25.
Leap in with me into this angry flood,
And swim to yonder point.
3.
To float; to be borne along by a current. In all states there are men who will swim with the tide of popular opinion.
4.
To glide along with a smooth motion, or with a waving motion.
She with pretty and with swimming gait.
A hov'ring mist came swimming o'er his sight.
5.
To be dizzy or vertiginous; to have a waving motion of the head or a sensation of that kind, or a reeling of the body. The head swims when we walk on high.
6.
To be floated; to be overflowed or drenched; as,the earth swims in rain.
Sudden the ditches swell, the meadows swim.
All the night I make my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. Ps.6.
7.
To overflow; to abound; to have abundance.
They now swim in joy.

SWIM

,
Verb.
T.
To pass or move on; as, to swim a stream. Deer are known to swim rivers and sounds.
Sometimes he thought to swim the stormy main.
1.
To immerse in water that the lighter parts may swim; as, to swim wheat for seed.

Definition 2022


swim

swim

See also: SWIM

English

woman swimming
Video of men swimming

Pronunciation

Verb

swim (third-person singular simple present swims, present participle swimming, simple past swam or (archaic) swum, past participle swum)

  1. (intransitive, archaic) To float.
    sink or swim
    • 2 Kings VI:6 (KJV)
      And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim.
    • Wm. Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
      Why, now, blow wind, swell billow, and swim bark! The storm is up and all is on the hazard.
  2. (intransitive) To move through the water, without touching the bottom; to propel oneself in water by natural means.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess:
      He turned back to the scene before him and the enormous new block of council dwellings. The design was some way after Corbusier but the block was built up on plinths and resembled an Atlantic liner swimming diagonally across the site.
  3. (transitive) To traverse (a specific body of water, or a specific distance) by swimming; or, to utilize a specific swimming stroke; or, to compete in a specific swimming event.
    For exercise, we like to swim laps around the pool.
    I want to swim the 200-yard breaststroke in the finals.
    • Dryden
      Sometimes he thought to swim the stormy main.
  4. (transitive, uncommon) To cause to swim.
    to swim a horse across a river
    Half of the guinea pigs were swum daily.
  5. (intransitive) To be overflowed or drenched.
    • Psalm VI:6 (KJV)
      I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.
    • Thomson
      Sudden the ditches swell, the meadows swim.
  6. (transitive) To immerse in water to make the lighter parts float.
    to swim wheat in order to select seed
  7. (transitive, historical) To test (a suspected witch) by throwing into a river; those who floated rather than sinking were deemed to be witches.
  8. (transitive) To undergo a giddy sensation.
    My head was swimming after drinking two bottles of cheap wine.

Usage notes

In Late Middle English and Early Modern English, the present participle form swimmand still sometimes occurred in Midlands and Northern dialects, for exampleː

  • The water to nourish the fish swimmand. (The Towneley plays)
  • Their young child Troiane, as swift as dolphin fish, swimmand away. (1513, Gavin Douglas, Virgil's Aeneid)
Derived terms
Translations

Noun

swim (plural swims)

  1. An act or instance of swimming.
    I'm going for a swim.
  2. The sound, or air bladder, of a fish.
  3. (Britain) A part of a stream much frequented by fish.
Derived terms
Translations

Etymology 2

Abbreviation of someone who isn't me.

Abbreviation

swim

  1. (Internet slang, text messaging) Someone who isn't me, used as a way to avoid self-designation or self-incrimination, especially in online drug forums; similar to a friend of mine

See also