Definitions

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

  • intransitive v. To make a solemn declaration, invoking a deity or a sacred person or thing, in confirmation of and witness to the honesty or truth of such a declaration.
  • intransitive v. To make a solemn promise; vow.
  • intransitive v. To use profane oaths; curse.
  • intransitive v. Law To give evidence or testimony under oath.
  • transitive v. To declare or affirm solemnly by invoking a deity or a sacred person or thing.
  • transitive v. To promise or pledge with a solemn oath; vow: He swore his oath of allegiance to the queen. See Synonyms at promise.
  • transitive v. To utter or bind oneself to (an oath).
  • transitive v. Law To administer a legal oath to: All the witnesses have been sworn.
  • transitive v. To say or affirm earnestly and with great conviction.
  • n. A swearword.
  • swear at To use abusive, violent, or blasphemous language against; curse.
  • swear by To have great reliance on or confidence in: He swears by his personal physician.
  • swear by To have reliable knowledge of; be sure of: I think she left early, but I couldn't swear by it.
  • swear by To take an oath by: He swore by all the angels and saints of heaven.
  • swear in To administer a legal or official oath to: swear in a mayor.
  • swear off Informal To pledge to renounce or give up: She has sworn off cigarettes.
  • swear out Law To obtain (a warrant for arrest) by making a charge under oath.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A swearword.
  • v. (transitive) To take an oath.
  • v. To use offensive language.
  • adj. Heavy.
  • adj. Top-heavy; too high.
  • adj. Dull; heavy; lazy; slow; reluctant; unwilling.
  • adj. Niggardly.
  • adj. A lazy time; a short rest during working hours (especially field labour); a siesta.
  • v. To be lazy; rest for a short while during working hours.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To affirm or utter a solemn declaration, with an appeal to God for the truth of what is affirmed; to make a promise, threat, or resolve on oath; also, to affirm solemnly by some sacred object, or one regarded as sacred, as the Bible, the Koran, etc.
  • intransitive v. To give evidence on oath.
  • intransitive v. To make an appeal to God in an irreverant manner; to use the name of God or sacred things profanely; to call upon God in imprecation; to curse.
  • transitive v. To utter or affirm with a solemn appeal to God for the truth of the declaration; to make (a promise, threat, or resolve) under oath.
  • transitive v. To put to an oath; to cause to take an oath; to administer an oath to; -- ofetn followed by in or into.
  • transitive v. To declare or charge upon oath.
  • transitive v. To appeal to by an oath.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To affirm or utter a solemn declaration, with an appeal to God or to some superhuman being in confirmation of what is affirmed; declare or affirm something in a solemn manner by some sacred being or object, as the Bible or the Koran.
  • To promise something upon oath; vow; make a promise in a solemn manner.
  • To give evidence or make any statement on oath or with an oath; also, to declare solemnly, without an oath, as to the truth of something.
  • To use profane language; be profane; practise profaneness; use the name or names of God irreverently in common conversation; utter profane oaths; curse.
  • To be incongruous or inharmonious (with): followed by at: often said of colors.
  • To utter or affirm with a solemn appeal to God, a divinity, or something held to be sacred for the truth of the declaration: as, to swear an oath.
  • To promise in a solemn manner; vow.
  • To put to an oath; cause to take an oath; bind by an oath: as, to swear witnesses in court; to swear a jury.
  • To declare or charge upon oath: as, to swear treason against a man.
  • To appeal to by an oath; call to witness.
  • To utter in a profane manner.
  • n. An oath.
  • See sweer.

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

  • v. utter obscenities or profanities
  • v. have confidence or faith in
  • v. to declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true
  • v. promise solemnly; take an oath
  • v. make a deposition; declare under oath

Etymologies

Middle English sweren, from Old English swerian.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English sweren, swerien, from Old English swerian ("to swear, take an oath of office"), from Proto-Germanic *swarjanan (“to speak, swear”), from Proto-Indo-European *swer- (“to speak, talk”). Cognate with West Frisian swarre ("to swear"), Eastern Frisian swera ("to swear"), Dutch zweren ("to swear, vow"), Low German swören ("to swear"), German schwören ("to swear"), Swedish svära ("to swear"), Icelandic sverja ("to swear"). Cognate to Albanian var ("to hang, consider, to depend from"). (Wiktionary)
From Middle English swer, swar, from Old English swǣr, swār ("heavy, heavy as a burden, of great weight, oppressive, grievous, painful, unpleasant, sad, feeling or expressing grief, grave, slow, dull, sluggish, slothful, indolent, inactive from weakness, enfeebled, weak"), from Proto-Germanic *swēraz (“heavy”), from Proto-Indo-European *swēr- (“heavy”). Cognate with West Frisian swier ("heavy"), Dutch zwaar ("heavy, hard, difficult"), German schwer ("heavy, hard, difficult"), Swedish svår ("heavy, hard, severe"), Latin sērius ("earnest, grave, solemn, serious") and Albanian varrë ("wound,plague"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Now thats what I call a swear word he must have been a brave lad and New that Brownie would use it.

    He said what?

  • I have a 4 year old Boykin that I would swear is part mule.

    Welcome to the New F&S Dog Blog

  • But the good thing which came of it was learning how to eat like a diabetic which I swear is the most sensible way to go.

    Cheeseburger Gothic » Burger Lite 26 Feb

  • The intention to swear is there and saying "Frick" just conveys the meaning while protecting your ass.

    Does "Frick" = "Fuck"?

  • Comments posted to BBC blogs will be removed if they are considered likely to provoke, attack or offend others; are racist, sexist, homophobic, sexually explicit, abusive or otherwise objectionable; are considered to have been posted with an intention to disrupt; contain swear words (including abbreviations or alternative spellings) or other language likely to offend.

    It's moderation, Jim, but not as we know it.

  • I divided the goods up amongst the huddled masses - my Dad et al on one hand, Andrew on the other, and the remnants from the batch probably winding up in the stomach of one particular co-worker of my mom's (who we swear is stalking her - or has cookie-radar built into his glasses!).

    Why Not?

  • You said earlier that you learned to swear from the Irish guy and drink from the Australian guy.

    Mads Mikkelsen On Set Interview CLASH OF THE TITANS – Collider.com

  • It does contain swear words but the language is used authentically rather than gratuitously.

    Members

  • I swear is this guy making up his platform as he goes along or what?

    Obama: Cuba policy to be based on 'libertad'

  • I remembered that both JP and Kevin swear on their mothers 'knickers - which, creepily, is the same pair - that it is a very good book, so I I started thinking.

    September 2005

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.