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

  • adj. Archaic Swarthy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of a dark hue; moderately black; swarthy; tawny.
  • adj. Black.
  • adj. Gloomy; malignant.
  • n. Black or dark dyestuff; something of a certain swart; something of a certain ocker.
  • n. Obsolete spelling of sward.
  • v. To make swart or tawny; as, to swart a living part; blacken; tan.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of a dark hue; moderately black; swarthy; tawny.
  • adj. Gloomy; malignant.
  • n. Sward.
  • transitive v. To make swart or tawny.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Being of a dark hue; moderately black; swarthy: said especially of the skin or complexion.
  • To make swart; blacken; tan.

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

  • adj. naturally having skin of a dark color


Middle English swarte, from Old English sweart.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English swart, from Old English sweart ("swarthy, black, dark; gloomy; evil, infamous"), from Proto-Germanic *swartaz (“black, dark-coloured”), from Proto-Indo-European *swordo- (“dirty, dark, black”). Cognate with Scots swart ("black"), West Frisian swart ("black"), Dutch zwart ("black, dark"), Low German swart ("black"), German schwarz ("black"), Danish sort ("black"), Swedish svart ("black"), Icelandic svartur ("black"), Latin sordes ("dirt, filth"). Compare sordid, surd. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English swarten, from Old English sweartian ("to become black; make black"), from Proto-Germanic *swartōnan (“to blacken, make black”), from Proto-Indo-European *swordos (“black, dirty”). (Wiktionary)
Variant of sward. (Wiktionary)


  • The four were swarthy men, and, unlike the Greeks they were seeking to oppose, their swart was a peculiarity of birth, a racial sign.

    The Prince of India — Volume 02

  • "Other political parties, like the NP, have nothing else to campaign about and can no longer use their" swart - "and" rooigevaar "tactics and are now reverting to using the" moving parliament gevaar ".


  • Beyond the wide court slept a dark abyss, and into the abyss there poured a white cascade of marble stairways, and widened out below into terraces and balconies with fair white statues on them, and descended again in a wide stairway, and came to lower terraces in the dark, where swart uncertain shapes went to and fro.

    "I run off where the drifts get deeper."

  • Now, I will photograph the tree in its demise, upended in swart disarray.

    The Tree is Farther to the Man

  • A slender, swart-skinned man, lithe of figure and graceful, stepped forward to the open space before the table.

    CHAPTER 26

  • The swart face of the older half-breed flushed angrily, as he drew himself up and promised in good, round terms that he would travel his leader off his legs, and would then be delighted to plant him in the snow.


  • How-ha grunted, and yielded up the obedience she could not withhold; though, as she went down the stairs to the door, in a tenebrous, glimmering way she wondered that the accident of white skin or swart made master or servant as the case might be.

    CHAPTER 19

  • Jees Uck was of a swart-skinned breed, it is true, but she was not an Indian; nor was she an Eskimo; nor even an Innuit.


  • And since it has been determined that love is service, and since to renounce is to serve, then Jees Uck, who was merely a woman of a swart-skinned breed, loved with a great love.


  • It might possibly have put the warm blood under her skin, which made her face less swart and her body fairer; but that, in turn, might have come from Shpack, the Big Fat, who inherited the colour of his Slavonic father.



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  • The figure that now stood by its bows was tall and swart, with one white tooth evilly protruding from its steel-like lips.

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 48

    July 25, 2008