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


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.


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  • Incidentally, the term swine flu which a lot of people use is a misnomer.

    CNN Transcript Sep 26, 2009 2009

  • Incidentally, the term swine flu which a lot of people use is a misnomer.

    CNN Transcript Sep 23, 2009 2009

  • The World Health Organization says it's dropping the term swine flu to refer to the virus officially now known as the H1N1 influenza.

    CNN Transcript Apr 30, 2009 2009

  • The term swine flu hurt the pork industry so much that they pushed for a name change and got it.

    Oil-garchical Collectivism 2009

  • The term swine-plague should not be used in speaking of outbreaks of hog-cholera, as it is now considered a form of hog-cholera involving especially the lungs.

    Common Diseases of Farm Animals R. A. Craig

  • Also, because the pork lobby has loudly objected to the term swine flu, all federal health officials are required to refer to it as pandemic H1N1 or 2009 H1N1. - News 2009

  • The government, under pressure from pork producers, urged the media to drop the term swine flu and instead refer to the virus by using the specific virus strain, H1N1. : News 2009

  • Although the term swine is usually applied only to the domesticated animal, it actually covers all members of the family Suidae.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol V No 2 1978

  • Try typing in "swine" into Google and Yahoo image searches, then do the same for "swine flu", and you'll see how Google treats the two searches very differently from each other, but Yahoo treats them nearly the same.

    Break Google’s Monopoly On Your Data: Switch To Yahoo Search | Lifehacker Australia 2009

  • U.S. officials say they may abandon the term swine flu, for fear it’s confusing people into thinking they could catch it from pork, which is flat-out wrong…

    What’s in a Name? Swine Flu ‘Confusing Some’ « 2009


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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

  • Wouldn't that be a little like carbonara sauce?

    *goes to look up recipe*

    June 5, 2011

  • Well, now that you put it that way....

    June 5, 2011