AskDefine | Define swing

Dictionary Definition



1 a state of steady vigorous action that is characteristic of an activity; "the party went with a swing"; "it took time to get into the swing of things"
2 mechanical device used as a plaything to support someone swinging back and forth
3 a sweeping blow or stroke; "he took a wild swing at my head"
4 changing location by moving back and forth [syn: swinging, vacillation]
5 a style of jazz played by big bands popular in the 1930s; flowing rhythms but less complex than later styles of jazz [syn: swing music, jive]
6 a jaunty rhythm in music [syn: lilt]
7 the act of swinging a golf club at a golf ball and (usually) hitting it [syn: golf stroke, golf shot]
8 in baseball; a batter's attempt to hit a pitched ball; "he took a vicious cut at the ball" [syn: baseball swing, cut]
9 a square dance figure; a pair of dancers join hands and dance around a point between them


1 move in a curve or arc, usually with the intent of hitting; "He swung his left fist"; "swing a bat"
2 move or walk in a swinging or swaying manner; "He swung back" [syn: sway]
3 change direction with a swinging motion; turn; "swing back"; "swing forward"
4 influence decisively; "This action swung many votes over to his side" [syn: swing over]
5 make a big sweeping gesture or movement [syn: sweep, swing out]
6 hang freely; "the ornaments dangled from the tree"; "The light dropped from the ceiling" [syn: dangle, drop]
7 hit or aim at with a sweeping arm movement; "The soccer player began to swing at the referee"
8 alternate dramatically between high and low values; "his mood swings"; "the market is swinging up and down"
9 live in a lively, modern, and relaxed style; "The Woodstock generation attempted to swing freely"
10 have a certain musical rhythm; "The music has to swing"
11 be a social swinger; socialize a lot [syn: get around]
12 play with a subtle and intuitively felt sense of rhythm
13 engage freely in promiscuous sex, often with the husband or wife of one's friends; "There were many swinging couples in the 1960's" [also: swung]

User Contributed Dictionary



(verb) swingan.



  1. The manner in which something is swung.
    He worked tirelessly to improve his golf swing.
    Door swing indicates direction the door opens.
  2. A hanging seat in a children's playground, for acrobats in a circus, or on a porch for relaxing.
  3. A dance style.
  4. The genre of music associated with this dance style.
  5. The amount of change towards or away from something.
  6. Particularly, the increase or decrease in the number of votes in an election for opposition parties compared with votes for the incumbent party.
    The polls showed a wide swing to Labour.
  7. sideways movement of the ball as it flies through the air.
  8. The diameter that a lathe can cut.
  9. In a musical theater production, a performer who understudies several roles. See understudy.


  • 1937 June 11, Judy Garland, “All God’s Chillun Got Rhythm”, A day at the races, Sam Wood (director), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
    All God’s chillun got rhythm. All God's chillun got swing.
    Maybe haven't got money, maybe haven't got shoes.
    All God’s chillun got rhythm for to [sic.] push away their blues.


manner in which something is swung
hanging seat
  • Chinese: 鞦韆/秋千 qiūqiān
  • Czech: houpačka
  • Esperanto: balanco
  • Finnish: keinu
  • French: balançoire
  • German: Schaukel
  • Greek: κούνια
  • Hungarian: hinta
  • Icelandic: róla
  • Italian: altalena
  • Korean: 그네 (geune)
  • Kurdish:
  • Latin: cunae (for cradle)
  • Portuguese: balanço
  • Spanish: columpio , hamaca
  • Swedish: gunga
dance style
music style
amount of change towards or away from
electoral change
  • Greek: μεταστροφή
jive talk (this sense is currently subject to verification)
sideways movement of a cricket ball as it flies through the air
diameter that a lathe can cut
substitute musical theater performer


  1. defn English


  1. To move backward and forward, especially rotating about or hanging from a fixed point.
    The plant swung in the breeze.
  2. To dance.
  3. To ride on a swing.
    The children laughed as they swung.
  4. To participate in the swinging lifestyle; to participate in wife-swapping.
  5. To hang from the gallows.
  6. (of a ball) to move sideways in its trajectory.
  7. To fluctuate or change.
    It wasn't long before the crowd's mood swung towards restless irritability.
to do a reciprocating movement
  • Esperanto: balanci
  • Finnish: heilua, keinua
  • Greek: κουνιέμαι
  • Icelandic: sveiflast
  • Swedish: gunga, svinga
to dance
to ride on a swing
to hang on gallows
  • Finnish: roikkua, heilua
  • German: baumeln
  • Icelandic: hanga


  1. To move an object backward and forward; to wave.
    He swung his sword as hard as he could.
  2. To change a numerical result; especially to change the outcome of an election.
  3. To make something work; especially to afford something financially.
    If it’s not too expensive, I think we can swing it.
  4. To play notes that are in pairs by making the first of the pair slightly longer than written (augmentation) and the second, resulting in a bouncy, uneven rhythm.
  5. (of a bowler) to make the ball move sideways in its trajectory.


object movement


Extensive Definition

Swing may refer to:



Key concepts

Other applications

Films and television



swing in Czech: Swing
swing in German: Swing
swing in Spanish: Swing
swing in French: Swing
swing in Galician: Swing
swing in Italian: Swing (disambigua)
swing in Dutch: Swing
swing in Japanese: スウィング
swing in Norwegian Nynorsk: Swing
swing in Polish: Swing
swing in Portuguese: Swing
swing in Russian: Свинг

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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make the grade, manage, manage somehow, maneuver, maneuvering space, manipulate, margin, market price, market value, masculine caesura, measure, merry-go-round, meter, metrical accent, metrical foot, metrical group, metrical unit, metrics, metron, metronome, mince, mincing steps, molossus, mora, motion, movement, movements, moving, muddle through, musical suite, negotiate, no holds barred, nod, nominal value, number, numbers, nutate, occupation, offering price, on the hop, on the move, one-two, open space, opening price, operation, operations, orchestral, oscillate, oscillating, oscillation, oscillator, pace, paddle, paeon, par, par value, parity, pass, pass and repass, pattern, peg, pelt, pend, pendulate, pendulum, pentameter, pentapody, period, philander, piaffe, piaffer, pirouette, pitch, pitch and plunge, pitch and toss, pivot, pivot about, play, play jazz, plod, plunge, plunk, ply, point, point to, poke, poke at, pound, practice, prance, praxis, price, proceleusmatic, prosody, punch, put about, put over, put price, put through, pyrrhic, quantity, quotation, quoted price, rack, rag, ragtime, rake, rally, range, rap, rear, reciprocate, redound to, reel, resonate, revolve, rhyme, rhythm, rhythm-and-blues, rhythmic pattern, ride and tie, ring the changes, rock, rock-and-roll, rocker, rocking chair, rocking stone, roll, roller coaster, room, room to spare, rope, rotate, round, round-arm blow, roundabout, roundhouse, routine, run, sag, sashay, saunter, scend, scope, scrape along, screw, scuff, scuffle, scuttle, sea room, seesaw, seethe, serve, set, set toward, settling price, shake, shamble, sheer, shift, short-arm blow, show a tendency, shuffle, shuttle, shuttlecock, sidewinder, sidle, single-foot, skip, slam, sleep around, slink, slither, slog, slouch, slowness, slug, smack, smash, sock, space, spare room, spin, spondee, sprung rhythm, stab, stagger, stalk, stamp, stated value, step, stomp, straddle, straggle, stream, stress, stride, strike at, strike out at, stroke, stroll, strolling gait, struggle, strut, stumble, stump, succeed in, suffer hanging, suite, suite of dances, swag, swagger, swat, sway, swaying, sweep, swing at, swing on, swing round, swing the deal, swinging, swings, swipe, switch, swivel, symphonic, syncopate, syncopated, syncopated music, syncopation, syzygy, tattoo, teeter, teeter-totter, teeterboard, teetery-bender, tend, tenor, tetrameter, tetrapody, tetraseme, the general tendency, the main course, the new music, thesis, thrash about, thrust, thrust at, thump, thwack, time spirit, tittup, to-and-fro, toddle, tolerance, tone, toss, toss and tumble, toss and turn, totter, trail, traipse, tread, trend, tribrach, trick, trimeter, trip, tripody, triseme, trochee, trot, trudge, tumble, turn, turn a pirouette, turn about, turn around, turn round, turn tail, twist, under way, undulate, uppercut, vacillate, vary, veer, veer around, velocity, verge, vibrate, vibrating, vibration, vibrator, volte-face, volutation, waddle, wag, waggle, walk, wallop, wallow, wamble, wanton, warp, wave, waver, wavering, waving, wax and wane, way, weave, weep, welter, whack, wheel, wheel about, whip, whirl, whirligig, whop, whore, wibble-wabble, wide berth, wield, wiggle, wigwag, wind, wing, wobble, wobbling, womanize, work, work toward, working, workings, worry along, yaw, yerk, zigzag
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