from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To deceive, cheat; betray
  • v. To stop, blin, cease
  • adj. Deceitful; treacherous
  • n. Deceit; treachery
  • n. A deceiver; betrayer, traitor
  • n. A hiding place; den; cave


From Middle English swiken, from Old English swīcan ("to wander, depart, cease from, yield, give way, fail, fall short, be wanting, abandon, desert, turn traitor, deceive, rebel"), from Proto-Germanic *swīkanan (“to dodge, swerve, avoid, betray”), from Proto-Indo-European *sweig-, *swAig- (“to turn, move around, wander, swing”). Cognate with Scots swike ("to cheat, deceive"), Middle Low German swīken ("to yield, elude, escape"), Middle High German swīchen ("to abandon"), Icelandic svikja ("to betray"). (Wiktionary)


  • [146] The Saxon Chronicle contradicts itself as to Algar's outlawry, stating in one passage that he was outlawed without any kind of guilt, and in another that he was outlawed as swike, or traitor, and that he made a confession of it before all the men there gathered.

    Harold : the Last of the Saxon Kings — Volume 12

  • _ B | | tuteles | anan B | | 71. toward | towart C | | for hwil he B | | seos | sið C | | 72. he þe swike þenches t {us} | | for B

    Selections from early Middle English, 1130-1250 Part I: Texts

  • Þeos ȝeol ` e´we [froggen bi {} tacneð þeos wimmen þe claþeð heom mid ȝeoluwe] claþe. for þe ȝeolewe clað is þes deofles helfter. þeos wi {m} men þe þus lu {m} eð beoð þes deofles musestoch iclepede. for þenne þe mon wule tilden his musestoch he bindeð  {110} uppon þa swike chese ⁊ bret hine for þon þ̵ he scolde swote smelle. and þurh þe [f.

    Selections from early Middle English, 1130-1250 Part I: Texts


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