Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various omnivorous, even-toed ungulates of the family Suidae, having a stout body with thick skin, a short neck, and a movable snout, especially the domesticated pig.
  • noun A person regarded as contemptible or disgusting.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An ungulate non-ruminant quadruped, of the family Suidæ in a broad sense; any hog, pig, sow, or boar; in the plural, these animals collectively.
  • noun A mean, degraded person; a hoggish individual.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) Any animal of the hog kind, especially one of the domestical species. Swine secrete a large amount of subcutaneous fat, which, when extracted, is known as lard. The male is specifically called boar, the female, sow, and the young, pig. See hog.
  • noun (Bot.) knotgrass (Polygonum aviculare); -- so called because eaten by swine.
  • noun (Bot.) a kind of oat sometimes grown for swine.
  • noun (Bot.) a species of cress of the genus Senebiera (S. Coronopus).
  • noun [Obs.] a dolt; a blockhead.
  • noun (Bot.) the sow thistle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any of various omnivorous, even-toed ungulates of the family Suidae.
  • noun pejorative A contemptible person (plural swines).
  • noun archaic Plural form of sow.

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

  • noun stout-bodied short-legged omnivorous animals

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English swīn; see sū- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English swīn, (Proto-Germanic *swīnan, from an adjectival form of Proto-Indo-European *sū- (compare Latin sūs, Ancient Greek ὗς)). Related to German Schwein, Dutch zwijn, Polish świnia, Russian свинья. See also sow.

Examples

Comments

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  • Wouldn't you like to get away?

    Bestowing the memory of good and evil

    On the ones you left behind

    The heartless swine

    (Le pastie de la Bourgeoisie, by Belle and Sebastian)

    August 19, 2008

  • Cf. kine.

    June 1, 2011

  • Cows are taller.

    June 2, 2011

  • Yes... go on. You're doing great!

    June 3, 2011

  • And humans drink their milk, but not as a rule swine's milk. And while men are often compared to swine, comparisons to kine tend to be reserved for women, especially in British English (Am. English prefers canines as the object of comparison in this case).

    June 3, 2011

  • Well done! You're a rare talent.

    June 3, 2011

  • Though we tend to associate swine with impossibility, "when pigs fly", cows tend to feature more prominently in this context in other cultures: "when cows fly", "at Easter of the horses and at the wedding of the cows", "when the cow coughs".

    French also is quite fond of cows when it comes to expressions, e.g. "La vache !" (Dammit!); "vachement" as an adverbial intensifier, etc. An interesting discussion of this phenomenon is found here .

    June 3, 2011

  • Why don't humans drink swine milk?

    June 3, 2011

  • Why don't humans drink swine milk?

    Duh, delicious bacon!

    June 3, 2011

  • Milk that tastes like bacon? Blecch.

    June 4, 2011