Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To faint.
  • intransitive verb To be overwhelmed by ecstatic joy.
  • noun A fainting spell; syncope.
  • noun A state of ecstasy or rapture.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of swooning, or the state of one who has swooned; a fainting-fit; syncope; lipothymy.
  • To faint.
  • To steal upon like a swoon; approach like faintness.

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

  • noun A fainting fit; syncope.
  • intransitive verb To sink into a fainting fit, in which there is an apparent suspension of the vital functions and mental powers; to faint; -- often with away.

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

  • noun A faint.
  • noun An infatuation
  • verb dated to faint, to lose consciousness
  • verb to be overwhelmed by emotion (especially infatuation)

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

  • noun a spontaneous loss of consciousness caused by insufficient blood to the brain
  • verb pass out from weakness, physical or emotional distress due to a loss of blood supply to the brain

Etymologies

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

[Middle English swounen, probably from iswowen, in a swoon, from Old English geswōgen, past participle of *swōgan, to suffocate.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English swownen, swonen ("to faint"), and Middle English aswoune ("in a swoon"), both ultimately from Old English ġeswōgen ("insensible, senseless, dead"), past participle of swōgan ("to make a sound, overrun, suffocate") (compare Old English āswōgan ("to cover over, overcome")), from Proto-Germanic *swōganan (“to make a noise”), from Proto-Indo-European *swāghe- (“to shout”). Cognate with Low German swogen ("to sigh, groan"), Dutch zwoegen ("to groan, breathe heavily"), Norwegian dialectal søgja ("to whistle, hum, talk loudly"). More at sough.

Examples

  • Which is redolent with the central tenets of surrealism that made Lamarkin swoon (“beauty will be convulsive or not at all.”), when it involved a deep awareness of the unconscious, before it became a synonym for indolence and an excuse for the dirty word of indifference.

    Nadja | Miette's Bedtime Story Podcast

  • The consensus is that Obama's mid-term swoon has begun and the health care bill is going to be the first casualty.

    Booker Rising

  • Housing sales and prices continue their interminable swoon, which is a serious drag on the overall economy and likely to remain through 2012.

    Jerry Jasinowski: A Summer Global Slowdown

  • Whatever her true malady, one thing was perfectly clear: whether her swoon was the press's fault or not, the Michiko-bashing era is over.

    Imperial Swoon

  • I fall from my chair in a swoon, which is of longer or shorter endurance.

    Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft

  • As he told it, his swoon was a mere untoward incident and hindrance in a spiritual drama, the thrill of which, while he described it, passed even to her.

    Robert Elsmere

  • As he told it, his swoon was a mere untoward incident and hindrance in a spiritual drama, the thrill of which, while he described it, passed even to her.

    Robert Elsmere

  • This time the swoon was a deathly one, and did not yield easily.

    Tiger-Lilies. A Novel.

  • This time the swoon was a deathly one, and did not yield easily.

    Tiger-lilies

  • "Fifteen minutes before we left her dead, or in a dead swoon, which is all the same in Greek, and yet he talks of her getting up and going off herself!"

    The Midnight Queen

Comments

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  • For thirsty Cecilia Bethune

    There's wine with the luncheon at noon

    Then evening cocktails

    And (it never fails)

    To the couch in a ladylike swoon.

    See pass out, faint, syncope, lipothymy.

    January 31, 2016