American English

Definition of swear verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they swear
    he / she / it swears
    past simple swore
    past participle sworn
    -ing form swearing
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  1. 1[intransitive] to use rude or offensive language, usually because you are angry She fell down and swore loudly. I don't like to hear children swearing. swear at somebody/something Why did you let him swear at you like that?
  2. 2[transitive, no passive] to make a serious promise to do something synonym vow swear something He swore revenge on the man who had killed his father. swear (that)… I swear (that) I'll never leave you. “That” is usually left out, especially in speech. swear to do something She made him swear not to tell anyone.
  3. 3[transitive] to promise that you are telling the truth swear (that)… She swore (that) she'd never seen him before. Icould have sworn (= I am sure) I heard the phone ring. swear to somebody/on something (that)… I swear to GodI had nothing to do with it.
  4. 4[intransitive, transitive] to make a public or official promise, especially in court swear (on something) Witnesses were required to swear on the Bible. swear that… Are you willing to stand up in court and swear that you don't recognize him? swear to do something Remember, you have sworn to tell the truth. swear something Barons had to swear an oath of allegiance to the king.
  5. 5[transitive] swear someone to secrecy/silence to make someone promise not to tell something to anyone Everyone was sworn to secrecy about what had happened. see also sworn
  6. Phrasal Verbsswear by somebody/somethingswear somebodyinswear off somethingswear to something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: swear