Definition of swank in English:



[no object]British
  • Display one's wealth, knowledge, or achievements in a way that is intended to impress others.

    ‘he was swanking about, playing the dashing young master spy’
    • ‘Still in his twenties, he swanked his way through the Belfast-based international news media, lunching with key opinion-makers, opining every night on local television.’
    • ‘The truth is that Jack is forever swanking around in Bute House, pouring large ones for his posh guests and acting like he owns the place.’
    • ‘I got a Paul Smith suit and I swanked down the street hoping people would recognise me.’
    • ‘Do you know what Hell it has been, not mentioning this before because it would only look like swanking off?’
    • ‘Irvine and Rita cleverly cashed in on Glaswegians' profligate delight in dressing up and swanking it up.’
    • ‘She was the early favourite to win the competition, and she's spent the entire series swanking around like she invented dancing or something.’
    • ‘Everything was bogus, from the place cards which were love haikus, to the guy swanking round with a bottle of absinthe saying he'd been given it by Johnny so that everyone asked ‘Johnny who? allowing him to sniff ‘Depp, of course’.’
    • ‘It simultaneously demonstrates deep traditional appreciation of materials, light and space, and a lively understanding of the potentials of modern technology, without swanking about them.’
    • ‘To watch many leading members of Sinn Fein swanking it up and sipping Bollinger with some of the Irish corporate elite in members clubs is quite remarkable.’
    • ‘By tomorrow I'll be swanking around the place as if it was all predicted and, you know, I knew it was going to happen.’
    • ‘Years ago, when in our first new home, I was proudly swanking about it and a friend said: ‘How lovely for you both’ and ‘Have you got wall-to-wall carpeting?’’
    • ‘It establishes a slush fund to hand out goodies to people who can swank around producing programmes at a cost far in excess of normal commercial rates.’
    • ‘It's in Gabriel's Wharf which is just a swanked up name for what is, in essence, just a street with some shops full of artsy fartsy froo froo.’
    • ‘If you want to swank and swagger go for Pomerol's Lafleur that, incredibly, started off life en primeur at £1,650 a case and only three years later is priced here at £650.’
    • ‘He got paid last weekend and spent the money on swanking about in a hotel with his girlfriend, showing her the high life.’
    • ‘The provocative account he brazenly swanked the day after made younger Maurice stir.’
    • ‘‘I commute in a three-quarter-tonne capacity Chevrolet Silverado HD,’ he swanked in his latest book.’
    • ‘While virtually everyone else mucks in for testing at Barcelona and Valencia, Ferrari get to swank around their own circuits at Fiorano and Mugello in Italy.’
    • ‘From spies in Venice comes a sighting of him swanking around on the Grand Canal.’
    • ‘These famous faces seem to be having a grand time, swanking around in their fabulous deco costumes and deploying different foreign accents at each other, and it's just as much fun for us to watch them.’
    cavort, dance, jig, trip, caper, jump, leap, spring, bound, skip, hop
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mass nounBritish
  • Behaviour, talk, or display intended to impress others.

    ‘a little money will buy you a good deal of swank’
    • ‘Barnes's journalistic reputation is founded on his relaxed, anecdotal style, which is never entirely devoid of swank, clatter and show-off puns.’
    • ‘He says that in the initial postwar decades, these oases of comfort and architectural swank that sprang up throughout Europe and the Middle East embodied American Utopia.’
    • ‘Their destination seemed designed for cheer, with a landscaped park, fountains and personalised warmth from across the swank, sweetly scented lobby.’
    • ‘Friday night, get your swank on as DJs Pat Boogie and Lexis take over the decks at Upper Club.’
    • ‘Many people will try to like this album, the second full-length of original music from the D.C kings of swank, suits 'n' stirred Martinis, known for their stoned, trippy, dubby bossa beats.’
    • ‘Excuse the swank, but a film star once worked for me.’
    • ‘Reminds me of the swank that flashed in the US up until about 1928.’
    • ‘I can still remember him running a blue pencil through a draft passage that I was particularly proud of in one of my first books and telling me, kindly but firmly, ‘That's just swank.’’
    • ‘At a stroke, Glasgow's got-it, flaunt-it streets of swank are going to look decidedly 10 minutes ago as hordes of Glaswegian fashion victims board the train to Waverley station for the hottest retail style experience around.’
    • ‘It's best to come with a small group of good friends and enjoy the vibe and the feeling: not overly swank, a lot of character and class.’
    • ‘Along with modesty, that other quintessentially British characteristic, self-deprecation, is on the wane - it doesn't work in a culture of swank and bravado.’
    • ‘Hot tubs and full kitchens (complete with blenders) round out the swank.’
    • ‘It would be an understatement to say that there was no swank.’
    • ‘For one last meal we passed up the usual greasy chopstick and went air-conditioned swank.’
    • ‘Here pomp and swank are so remote that you secretly wish for a larger, more elegant lounge.’
    • ‘The good times were rolling, and Manhattan felt swank like never before.’
    • ‘We are also setting up an online store for bands to sell their band swank.’
    • ‘Pleased with his elderly ability to swarm up four flights of stairs to his study each day, he admits, ‘I rather swank about it.’’
    • ‘Lead by singer Maja Ivarsson, The Sounds took to the stage and strutted their stuff, with all the swank and attitude of a group of runway models at a Hollywood Coke soirée.’
    • ‘I guess Chris thought it would be good for us sophisticated city folk, as we must pine for swank when we're not around it.’
    ostentation, showiness, show, showing off, ostentatiousness, pretentiousness, pretension, vulgarity, conspicuousness, obtrusiveness, display, flamboyance, gaudiness, garishness, tawdriness, meretriciousness, brashness, loudness, extravagance, ornateness, theatricality
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North American
  • Stylishly luxurious and expensive.

    ‘they were photographed coming out of some swank nightclub’
    • ‘He may be the last link to the old Borscht Belt comedians, the old Vegas, the old nightclubs and stage shows, the real swank days of lounge culture.’
    • ‘The recently reopened Groove offers up New Year's Eve celebrations in all-new décor with an all-new ‘vibe’ and an all-new swank VIP lounge.’
    • ‘The swank apartments, fine restaurants, and posh hotel suites in which the stars spend all their time represent solid luxury rather than obvious Hollywood make-believe.’
    • ‘What's the point of living in a swank apartment with pretty clothes if you hate your life?’
    • ‘I might pick the latter for swank ambiance and loose slots, but Foxwoods has by far the classier list of entertainers.’
    • ‘BankMuscat on Infantry Road has swank interiors, but it has a traditional touch about them.’
    • ‘That is, in Cuba one does not need an elaborate recreation of the age of traditional Cuban son, salsa or jazz - such as the swank event at Zen - to feel the spirit of the music.’
    • ‘This new eatery occupies the swank Mile-End space vacated last year by the short-lived Restaurant Bernard.’
    • ‘Construction is under way everywhere on the property, which rests on Miami Beach's swank Millionaire's Row, where palm trees, manicured lawns, and multicolored million-dollar mansions are the norm.’
    • ‘One need only look at a Haring or a Basquiat to see the link between subway car & swank art gallery.’
    • ‘They really roll out the red carpet, put you in a swank hotel, and shuttle you back and forth.’
    • ‘From his swank corner office on the 50th floor, Cuban-born Jose Fernandez really is at the top of his game.’
    • ‘The desk manager at my swank hotel showed considerable sang-froid in allowing me into the place.’
    • ‘He was the creative force behind Opium Den, one of the city's pioneering swank saloons, and Plush, atop the Core Pacific Living Mall.’
    • ‘The hotel re-emerged in a new, swank avatar which had no space to spare for a plebeian ice cream parlour.’
    • ‘The bride looked gorgeous and the reception was very swank.’
    • ‘It was a sweet repast in the swank abode of internationally renowned interior designer Bill Stubbs Friday afternoon.’
    • ‘As you probably know, the Packard was a very swank American car, the sort that one saw when I was a boy parked outside large hotels known to have gaming rooms with high stakes.’
    • ‘To mark the occasion, Room 18, the swank nightclub where Chozie rules the booth as resident DJ, is throwing a Christmas Eve album pre-release party.’
    • ‘The Warner budget allows them a swank bus, replete with a tour manager, a sound guy, and a roadie.’


Early 19th century: of unknown origin.