Definition of swing verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//swɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//swɪŋ//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they swing
    BrE BrE//swɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//swɪŋ//
    he / she / it swings
    BrE BrE//swɪŋz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//swɪŋz//
    past simple swung
    BrE BrE//swʌŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//swʌŋ//
    past participle swung
    BrE BrE//swʌŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//swʌŋ//
    -ing form swinging
    BrE BrE//ˈswɪŋɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈswɪŋɪŋ//
    jump to other results
    hang and move
  1. 1  [intransitive, transitive] to move backwards or forwards or from side to side while hanging from a fixed point; to make something do this His arms swung as he walked. As he pushed her, she swung higher and higher (= while sitting on a swing). swing from something A set of keys swung from her belt. swing something He sat on the stool, swinging his legs.
  2. 2  [intransitive, transitive] to move from one place to another by holding something that is fixed and pulling yourself along, up, etc. + adv./prep. The gunshot sent monkeys swinging away through the trees. swing yourself + adv./prep. He swung himself out of the car.
  3. move in curve
  4. 3  [intransitive, transitive] to move or make something move with a wide curved movement + adv./prep. A line of cars swung out of the palace gates. swing something + adv./prep. He swung his legs over the side of the bed. + adj. The door swung open. swing something + adj. She swung the door open.
  5. turn quickly
  6. 4[intransitive, transitive] to turn or change direction suddenly; to make something do this + adv./prep. She swung back to face him. The bus swung sharply to the left. swing something + adv./prep. He swung the camera around to face the opposite direction.
  7. try to hit
  8. 5[intransitive, transitive] to try to hit somebody/something swing at somebody/something She swung at me with the iron bar. swing something (at somebody/something) He swung another punch in my direction.
  9. change opinion/mood
  10. 6[intransitive, transitive] to change or make somebody/something change from one opinion, mood, etc. to another swing (from A) (to B) The state has swung from Republican to Democrat. swing (between A and B) His emotions swung between fear and curiosity. The game could swing either way (= either side could win it). swing somebody/something (to something) I managed to swing them round to my point of view.
  11. do/get something
  12. 7[transitive] (informal) to succeed in getting or achieving something, sometimes in a slightly dishonest way swing something We're trying to swing it so that we can travel on the same flight. swing somebody something Is there any chance of you swinging us a couple of tickets?
  13. of music
  14. 8[intransitive] to have a strong rhythm
  15. of party
  16. 9[intransitive] (informal) if a party, etc. is swinging, there are a lot of people there having a good time
  17. Word OriginOld English swingan ‘to beat, whip’, also ‘rush’, geswing ‘a stroke with a weapon’, of Germanic origin; related to German schwingen ‘brandish’.Extra examples He swung up into the saddle and rode off. Hearing a sarcastic note in his voice, she swung around to face him. Her mood could swing rapidly from gloom to exhilaration. I could see him swinging from the branch of a large tree. Let your arms swing freely at your sides. Niccolò swung towards her. Nick swung towards/​toward her. Opinion swung heavily to the left. She lashed out, her arm swinging wildly. She let the door swing shut behind her. She swung down from the tree in one easy movement. The balance of power swung wildly from one party to the other. The pendulum swung slowly backwards and forwards. The pendulum swung slowly from side to side. The road swung sharply around. As he pushed her, she swung higher and higher. He swung round to face the crowd. He swung the car round in a dangerous U-turn. She sat on a stool swinging her legs. She swung around angrily, her eyes blazing. Suddenly she swung back on her heel. The elephant swung its trunk from side to side. The game could swing either way. The rope was swinging slightly in the breeze.Idioms (informal) when somebody says there’s no room to swing a cat, they mean that a room is very small and that there is not enough space = tip the balance/scales (informal) to be bisexual (= sexually attracted to both men and women) (North American English) to really try to achieve something great, even when it is not reasonable to expect to be so successful entrepreneurs who think big and swing for the fences Investors need to manage risk and not swing for the fences. to start doing something quickly and with a lot of energy The ambulance crew swung into action to resuscitate the patient. The rescue operation swung into action immediately. (old-fashioned, British English, informal) (usually used in the progressive tenses) to pretend to be ill/sick when in fact you are not, especially to avoid work I don't think there's anything wrong with her—she's just swinging the lead. The lead was a weight at the bottom of a line that sailors used to measure how deep water was when the ship was near land. ‘Swinging the lead’ was thought to be an easy task, and came to mean avoiding hard work. Phrasal Verbsswing by
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: swing