Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Imposingly fashionable or elegant; grand. See Synonyms at fashionable.
  • adj. Ostentatious; pretentious.
  • n. Smartness in style or bearing; elegance.
  • n. Swagger.
  • intransitive v. To act ostentatiously or pretentiously; swagger.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Fashionably elegant.
  • n. A fashionably elegant person.
  • n. Ostentation.
  • v. To swagger, to show off.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Thin; slender; pliant.
  • Agile.
  • n. See swang.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. elegance by virtue of being fashionable
  • v. display proudly; act ostentatiously or pretentiously
  • adj. imposingly fashionable and elegant

Etymologies

Perhaps akin to Middle High German swanken, to swing.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Perhaps from swanky, or perhaps from an Old English root, related to the Scots swank and the Middle High German swanken, modern German schwanken ("to sway"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Putin's gang? put enemy combatants up in swank hotels? terrorists do NOT have "rights." if you think Gitmo was "tourture," then you missed my historical examples and perspective of not being the "polite warrior." there is no such thing as a John Kerry "gentle, kinder" type of war. true, ideally, wars should be avoided, but not at the cost of selling one's own life/country out.

    Sound Politics: Rahm Emanuel should resign for flirting with underage candidates

  • They host affairs in swank clubs and glitzy restaurants.

    USATODAY.com - Super Bowl is a sweet homecoming for Bettis, fans

  • He was evidently, immensely pleased with his own little bit of book-learning; he even insisted on talking and writing Latin -- pure "swank" -- whereas his family would surely have preferred their native Frankish.

    From a Terrace in Prague

  • Sometimes through a touch of Antonio Jobim and Brazilian jazz, or the style of a martini glass, or the breeze through a palm tree, or Diana Krall … and my regular ritual in honor of swank is the Pimm’s Cup.

    The Swanky Cocktail « California Life: Better Than Happy Hour

  • After all that trouble, and after all that distressing bathroom damage, the results are pretty freakin 'swank.

    lessons in hair dye

  • While I was out there, I store-hopped and picked up a frame and matting supplies in order to spiffy-fy that sketch I was sent the other day -- and now my work area doth verily look swank, which is quite conducive to um ... working.

    errand running and herb growing

  • The Hayes Conference Center - and its so-called "swank digs" - offered a venue at less expense than the university.

    SFGate: Top News Stories

  • And there is to be no "swank" or "side," no putting on airs.

    Is the Acton Institute a Genuine Expression of Catholic Social Thought?

  • At any rate, The Voodoo Lounge itself is kind of swank -- in that "we once stumbled drunkenly into a velveteen dive bar in the French Quarter, and this club is our beer-goggled impressionistic take on what we think we saw before we puked on the vinyl divan" way.

    morning SNAFUs lead to un-productivity

  • As we were leaving the pony depot we fell in with Atlee of the Munsters who had been at Panagheia, and he says a pony is no use except for a bit of "swank," you have to walk practically the whole way beside your animal.

    The Incomparable 29th and the "River Clyde"

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  • So is Hilary

    June 23, 2009

  • Ten times more addictive than marijuana!

    October 2, 2008