Definition of swing in English:



  • 1Move or cause to move back and forth or from side to side while suspended or on an axis.

    [no object] ‘her long black skirt swung about her legs’
    ‘the door swung shut behind him’
    [with object] ‘a priest began swinging a censer’
    ‘local girls with their castanets and their swinging hips’
    • ‘When the door had swung shut behind him, he came to a halt and looked around.’
    • ‘The heavy black oak door swung to behind me with a muffled moan of protesting hinges.’
    • ‘As the doors swing open, people begin streaming in.’
    • ‘After them, the great doors swung shut and horns sounded.’
    • ‘Her hand dropped to the side, swinging back and forth.’
    • ‘The male pulled a chair closer to my bedside and hung the lamp from a hook above the bed, the shadows oscillating as it swung gently.’
    • ‘She glanced over at the hammock swinging in the wind and sat down in it, rocking slightly.’
    • ‘She walked with her toes pointed in so that her skirt would swing from side to side like a bell and smiled coquettishly.’
    • ‘Her brown hair was sharply cut off below her chin and swung freely around matching brown eyes encircled by tanned skin.’
    • ‘She sat on a branch, leaning her head against the trunk and laughing, her legs swinging lazily below her.’
    • ‘Esther Johnson shook her head, gold earrings swinging against her skin.’
    • ‘She tickled Elissa's cheek with her finger and sashayed away, her silky black hair swinging from side to side.’
    • ‘I yelled, but he was gone, the doors swinging shut behind him.’
    • ‘I could see the shed in the distance, and I watched in horror as the door began to swing shut.’
    • ‘She sighed and put her hands behind her back and swung back in forth in boredom while she waited for the two to finish up what they were doing.’
    • ‘The litter was carried through the entrance, and the door was swung shut behind them.’
    • ‘The side closest the rope swung freely back and forth, held only by a rope that connected the bridge to the thick tree branch above.’
    • ‘The cupboard door swung shut and Paula poured coffee into the mug she'd selected him.’
    • ‘A dozen sixth-years poured out from the far end, their lanterns swinging haphazardly from their jarring gait.’
    • ‘Drawing closer, she noticed with a growing sense of dread the open doors, swinging back and forth in the gusts of bitter wind.’
    sway, oscillate, move back and forth, move to and fro, wave, wag, dangle, rock, flutter, flap, vibrate, quiver
    brandish, wave, flourish, wield, raise, shake, wag, twirl
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1informal [no object]Be executed by hanging.
      ‘now he was going to swing for it’
      • ‘It wasn't a hanging offence but he swung for it anyway.’
      • ‘He will swing for it next week, unless a petition for his life takes effect.’
      • ‘Nobody should get away with planting a bomb in a public place without swinging for it.’
    2. 1.2[with object]Turn (a ship or aircraft) to all compass points in succession, in order to test compass error.
      • ‘The Compass Engineer will swing the ship through the major compass points and determine the deviation on each point.’
      • ‘Much importance is also attached to the swinging of ships in dock before going to sea.’
      • ‘Before the ship puts to sea, it is swung through the complete circle from 0° to 360°.’
  • 2[no object, with adverbial of direction] Move by grasping a support from below and leaping.

    ‘we swung across like two trapeze artists’
    ‘the Irishman swung himself into the saddle’
    • ‘Others never quite take the leap, unable to climb the ladder and unwilling to swing off the trapeze platform.’
    • ‘He tied a rope to a limb and would swing out, leap into the air and land, usually, on his feet.’
    • ‘Pulling his last pistol from his belt, he grabbed a line to swing himself over.’
    • ‘Tom leaned away from the sign, sauntered back to his truck and swung up into the cab.’
    • ‘He swung himself out of bed and dressed hastily.’
    • ‘He trudged on up and snagging the reins to his horse, swung in one smooth motion into the saddle.’
    • ‘He swung into the saddle on the first try, waved at some of the drovers, and headed back to camp.’
    • ‘Gripping the supports, I swung out above the water, the air heavy and damp, the sky grey.’
    • ‘Gwen checked the girth, pulled down the stirrups and quickly swung into the saddle.’
    1. 2.1Move quickly round to the opposite direction.
      ‘Ronni had swung round to face him’
      • ‘Dan swung round on his chair so quickly he almost fell off.’
      • ‘The thought causes Julia to grimace for a moment until a figure swings round in front of her.’
      • ‘On the final approach to the climb the road turns sharply back on itself and, just when I need it most, the wind which has been in my face all day swings round to assist me.’
      • ‘An officer grabbed him and as he swung round, his arm connected with the officer's jaw, she said.’
      • ‘She jumped, shrieking as she quickly swung around to face her addresser.’
      • ‘I push the tiller across and as the boat swings round I stand up and move across the boat.’
      • ‘I swung around quickly to see Trent riding by with the windows down and stereo blasting.’
    2. 2.2Move with a rhythmic swaying gait.
      ‘the riflemen swung along smartly’
      • ‘Cath got to school at around seven thirty and swung along to the main office.’
      • ‘If your gait swings so that your feet are pointed outward or inward, you may end up with the duck or the pigeon-toed walking styles.’
      • ‘He whistled and hummed old tunes as he swung along.’
      stride, march, sweep
      View synonyms
  • 3[with adverbial of direction] Move or cause to move in a smooth, curving line.

    [with object] ‘she swung her legs to the side of the bed’
    [no object] ‘the cab swung into the car park’
    • ‘I swing round a corner and spot what I think is a duck pond at the end of the street.’
    • ‘Wearily, Ryan unzipped his sleeping bag and swung his legs over the edge of the bed.’
    • ‘There was an altercation between pedestrians and the occupants of the car before it swung round the roundabout and hit him.’
    • ‘She swung the bags over her back, making to leave, then she stopped and turned back, remembering to get Gabriel's gift to her.’
    • ‘I lift the jacket off the hook, and with one smooth motion swing it over my shoulders and push my arms through the sleeves.’
    • ‘In her haste, Hailey had carelessly swung the bag into her vanity table, sending its various contents flying this way and that.’
    • ‘The attacker swung the bag and stick at Mr Bright, who raised his arm in defence.’
    • ‘She carefully walked her bike over to the starting line and swung her leg so she was straddling the bike.’
    • ‘Before the war, he used to be seen jumping from the local bus as it swung round the corner near his home.’
    • ‘I swung my bag off the balcony and slowly calmed down, trying not to breath in the scent of the flowers.’
    • ‘I unzip my bag, swing my legs and feet to the floor, and dress.’
    • ‘He recoiled revealing another who swung his gun into line with me.’
    • ‘I swing my bag onto my arm and move off towards the front gate to catch my bus.’
    • ‘He grabbed the bag up quickly and swung his leg out the window.’
    • ‘Scratching himself, he swung round his flannel pajama clad legs and planted them onto the floor.’
    • ‘The van swings sharply round a corner and stops in front of a large cream coloured prefabricated building.’
    • ‘Sam quickly swung into the driveway and cut the engine and the lights, his eyes never leaving the rear view mirror.’
    • ‘Rayenne packed up her books, and swung her bag over one shoulder.’
    • ‘She swung the bag lightly onto the floor and unzipped it and took out the note.’
    • ‘I swung my swim bag over my shoulder and headed out after Mark and Anna.’
    1. 3.1[with object]Bring down (something held) with a curving movement, typically in order to hit an object.
      ‘I swung the club and missed the ball’
      • ‘See the target, swing the club and wait for the applause.’
      • ‘It was too late to stop and as my racket was brought down, John swung his racket face up under the high speed shot.’
      • ‘I swung my stick and brought it across my body and made contact with the player's stick and the puck.’
      • ‘Another guard, almost fully restored, swung his club at Will, who merely ducked, turned, and stood up.’
      • ‘He looked at my stiff posture and how I held and swung the club.’
      • ‘Considering that you can also shift your body weight when you swing your clubs, the options to pick a distinctive tee shot are almost infinite.’
      • ‘The more athletic your set-up then the less chance you have of putting strain on your back when you swing the club.’
      • ‘Alexander jumped over the club and swung his sword down as he fell down.’
      • ‘To make solid contact, Bob had to turn his left shoulder more horizontally, swinging the club more around his body than up and down.’
      • ‘But then, instead of swinging the club back, simply bring it to the halfway position I've described.’
      • ‘Adopt a similar kind of consistent motion before swinging the club.’
      • ‘He told me it felt like a weight had been taken off his shoulders and he could actually go and swing the club and enjoy practicing again.’
      • ‘In one fluid motion Carlotta swung the torch and clubbed Don Antonio as hard as she could over the head.’
      • ‘He first suggested he might skip the Masters in January, when his lower back caused problems swinging the club.’
      • ‘He swung his club in frustration and hit a spectator's knee.’
      • ‘‘I played awful golf on the front nine and have not swung the club as badly for a very long time,’ he admitted.’
      • ‘You want to handle it, try a few casts with it, in the way that a golfer wants to swing a new club or a cricketer feels the weight of a bat.’
      • ‘Often these causes are things you may do before you actually swinging the club, like an incorrect grip and bad posture.’
      • ‘Paul now plays using the word rhythm as his only thought when swinging the club, which is fantastic.’
      • ‘I've played off and on since my 3 and a half years in Canada, but haven't swung a club for probably 5 years now.’
    2. 3.2[no object]Attempt to hit or punch, typically with a wide curving movement of the arm.
      ‘he swung at me with the tyre wrench’
      • ‘She grumbled, swinging at him, knowing well that he would catch her punch before it even came close to landing.’
      • ‘He ducked as she swung at him then lunged upward, throwing a hard punch at her jaw.’
      • ‘He missed, then swung at him again and hit his waist, but it did not cause any injury.’
      • ‘The leader swung at him, but Jack stepped around the punch and jammed the knife in the man's spine.’
      • ‘The man, missing him, swung at him again, this time just making contact with his waist, causing a very minor injury.’
      • ‘And she swung at me again, missed, and smacked herself in the nose.’
      • ‘The publican told the court that he did grab Mrs O'Leary when she tried to hit him, stating he caught her by her wrists when she swung at him.’
      • ‘The jury heard he had told police on April 16, 2001, that Price swung at him and missed before the pair had a struggle.’
      • ‘He turned to see a man jogging, but when he tried to cross the road the jogger swung at him with a blunt instrument.’
      • ‘The best case scenario of swinging at a cop is you miss while his head is turned and he doesn't see it.’
      • ‘‘I ran out at him, stood up on the wall and swung at him to thump him,’ said Mr Delker.’
      • ‘About the earlier incident, he claimed that she swung at him and fell accidentally when he had put his hand up to defend himself.’
    3. 3.3Deliver (a punch) with a wide curving movement of the arm.
      ‘she swung a punch at him’
      • ‘Are you so proud that you could swing a few punches in a bar full of drunkards?’
      • ‘Elisa swung a punch at his shoulder, and he didn't bother dodging.’
      • ‘I sat up, startled, as if someone had come and swung a punch into my stomach.’
      • ‘He called out with war cries as he swung deadly blows to all who came near him.’
      • ‘Twisting, jumping, ducking; each time he moved he swung a new blow.’
      • ‘She swung a powerful blow to the side, stumbling from its momentum.’
      • ‘Not sure I believe him, but clearly nobody is expecting me to swing a punch.’
      • ‘He was getting up, and was just about to swing a punch at her.’
      • ‘Daniel swung a punch at Jay, who only blocked it, even though it hurt when it hit his arm.’
      • ‘Price gave evidence that Mr Parsons became aggressive and swung a punch at him and all he did afterwards was try to defend himself.’
      • ‘He swung a punch at him but Aidan dodged and pushed him to the ground.’
      • ‘I mean, perhaps the prisoner had himself swung a punch around the corner where you couldn't see it.’
      • ‘The teenager said he was only acting in self-defence when the youth swung a punch at him.’
      • ‘Kira turned on heel and toe, swinging a tremendous blow and striking the other man square in the back.’
      • ‘I swung a punch at her but she grabbed my fist and kicked me in the side where I had been stabbed.’
      • ‘He swung a punch at her face causing her to fall and then grabbed her by the coat, dragging her along and spitting at her.’
      • ‘He said the man stood up, confronted Crook and swung a punch at his client, and a scuffle started.’
      • ‘Marcus swung a vicious blow at Richard's head that would have knocked him out if he hadn't quickly ducked.’
      • ‘He swung a final punch at another officer but he was too weak to cause any real severe injuries to him.’
      • ‘Teera raised her face to him and then swung a full blow with both hands at him, striking him in the jaw and sending him sprawling.’
    4. 3.4Cricket [with object](of a bowler) make a delivery of (a ball) deviate sideways from a regular course in the air.
      • ‘Sure enough, Bangladesh were soon in trouble as Sri Lanka's fast bowlers swung the new ball, grabbing three quick wickets after the tea interval.’
      • ‘Kirtley was the most dangerous, swinging the ball considerably, and forcing the batsmen to play.’
      • ‘In the one day arena, few bowlers swing the ball away from the right-hander for fear of bowling wides.’
      • ‘He swings the ball enough to trouble batsmen, but not enough to be a force when the pitch is slow and the ball is holding up.’
      • ‘A left-arm paceman operating over the wicket is expected to angle or swing the ball across the right-hander.’
      • ‘He was a dangerous bowler who could swing the ball both ways and in 21 Test matches took 78 wickets costing 27.13 per wicket.’
      • ‘In fact I'd go so far as to say that one of the reasons Lee looks so good at the moment is becuase he's consistantly swinging the ball and doing it at serious pace.’
      • ‘Martin does not struggle to swing the ball but often battles to maintain a demanding line.’
      • ‘Hall brings to the side a rare commodity in South African cricket - an ability to swing the ball away from the right-handed batsman.’
      • ‘He bowled very fast and swung the ball even on this pitch.’
      • ‘The new ball bowlers cannot, it seems, swing the ball; the slow bowlers can hardly spin it.’
      • ‘His pace, coupled with the ability to swing the ball, make it difficult to play against him.’
      • ‘Driver, however, stemmed the early onslaught with three cheap wickets and kept nagging away, swinging the ball both ways.’
      • ‘Nehra is one bowler who has the ability to swing the ball both ways and to have sacrificed him to play an extra batsman was a big mistake.’
      • ‘It doesn't allow him to prodigiously swing the ball but it allows him to land the ball on the seam time and time again.’
      • ‘And in the early part of his career before his back trouble, Botham was a genuine strike bowler who could swing the ball both ways.’
      • ‘In this series the pressure has been put on the Aussies by bowlers continuing to improve on their ability to swing the ball.’
      • ‘He can swing the ball late and is nippy enough to worry batsmen on a track that has pace and bounce.’
      • ‘McGrath is swinging the ball into the right-handers and causing them a great deal of trouble.’
      • ‘We've noticed he's been swinging the ball away from the bat quite a lot all the time.’
    5. 3.5Cricket [no object](of a delivery) deviate sideways from a regular course.
      • ‘The Pakistani batsmen are in a habit of playing at balls swinging away from the body.’
      • ‘Yovich was next to go, bowled for four by a beauty that clipped the top of off stump as it swung away from him.’
      • ‘I was getting the ball to swing in to him at high speed, and had a couple of good lbw shouts.’
      • ‘Whenever, they bowled the ball was swinging around every corner.’
      • ‘When we play on a wicket and the ball swings around we have bowlers and batsmen who can cope with that.’
      • ‘Barring any major lbw- or bouncer-rule changes, there is one option: changing the composition of cricket balls so they swing or bounce or spin more.’
      • ‘The ball swung for most of the England innings, making life far from straightforward, but few players seemed prepared to graft it out.’
      • ‘The pitch had spent two days under the covers, but the conditions did not phase the Australia openers as they left balls that were swinging wildly.’
      • ‘The ball will swing for most of the innings, in fact prodigiously in the first few overs.’
      • ‘By the time it was our turn to field, the conditions were more favourable for bowling, the ball was swinging and Botham took a couple of wonderful catches.’
      • ‘One ball swung away in the air and was at least a couple of feet outside Viswanath's off stump before it started curling in.’
      • ‘India started off very slowly, mainly because the ball was swinging and seaming around on a damp pitch early in the morning.’
      • ‘The ball did not swing, as it had done in the Trent Bridge Test, and he could have done with more pace and bounce in this pitch.’
      • ‘In most cases, it was the balls that swung in to the right-handed batsmen that did the damage and there isn't a better exponent of that delivery than Vaas.’
  • 4Shift or cause to shift from one opinion, mood, or state of affairs to another.

    [no object] ‘opinion swung in the Chancellor's favour’
    [with object] ‘the failure to seek peace could swing sentiment the other way’
    • ‘As opinion has swung against them, so society's attitude to fatherhood has also begun to change.’
    • ‘That ratio represents what amounts to an emotional set point, the mean around which our daily moods swing.’
    • ‘This balance of opinion swung back after the launch of the single market programme in the mid-1980s.’
    • ‘The silence had been broken, the mood had swung, the atmosphere had altered.’
    • ‘During the Civil War, he lectured in England and helped swing public opinion against the South.’
    • ‘It was only after the executions of the leaders that opinion began to swing in their favour.’
    • ‘Public opinion swung strongly in favour of the women strikers.’
    • ‘You are likely to be surrounded by people who swing from one mood to another and act with false perceptions.’
    • ‘But public opinion has swung against off-roading, and the police are now actively seeking solutions.’
    • ‘It was a slow-moving process but, by the end of the decade, the balance of public opinion had swung in favour of the tenants.’
    • ‘After a miserable couple of years where his mood has swung from depressed to suicidal, he is starting to feel more like his old self.’
    • ‘As a genius, his thoughts and opinions don't have to be consistent because they swing with whatever mood he happens to be in.’
    • ‘Liberals also could swing either way with their opinions.’
    • ‘He was taken to Hull Royal Infirmary where his mood swung erratically.’
    • ‘Within seconds, my mood had swung from joy to misery.’
    • ‘The pendulum of public opinion swings from one side to another.’
    • ‘He escaped execution when political opinion swung against the shootings of May 1916.’
    • ‘It's worth remembering how quickly public opinion can swing in the opposite direction once war begins.’
    • ‘A shift to a looser relationship is one that is set to move up the agenda if Britain is forced to give up its budget rebate and public opinion swings further against the EU.’
    • ‘Yet journalists today, more than ever before, have the power to swing public opinion and thereby change the course of conflicts with their writing.’
    change, fluctuate, oscillate, waver, alternate, see-saw, yo-yo, vary, shift, alter, undulate, ebb and flow, rise and fall, go up and down, go back and forth
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1[with object]Have a decisive influence on (something, especially a vote or election)
      ‘an attempt to swing the vote in their favour’
      • ‘Can politics at the margin hold the balance in a decision on foreign policy, as it can sometimes swing an election?’
      • ‘With the election so finely balanced, deceased early voters could yet swing the election, without the arduous duty of having to stick around for the legal disputes.’
      • ‘Could this really be what swings the election one way or the other?’
      • ‘Will they swing the election in your favour again?’
      • ‘Today cognitive scientists pre-test messages and images with focus groups comprising types of voters who might swing an election.’
      • ‘The only real question at this point is if they have been successful in rigging enough voting machines to swing this election if it's close enough.’
      • ‘Whether this sliver of defectors will once again be big enough to swing a presidential election is less clear.’
      • ‘You only need a few percentage points difference to swing an election.’
      • ‘I can think of several social issues where you can swing some electoral votes away from the party.’
      • ‘Although on different teams, they are examples of a nationwide movement that some experts predict could swing the election.’
      • ‘She does seem to feel as if she's just swung the election, mind.’
      • ‘But she also raises health and education as major election issues that could yet swing her vote.’
      • ‘This volatile issue was used to mobilize voters and swing elections at all levels.’
      • ‘According to intelligence sources, the army is now determined to swing the balance of power back in its favor.’
      • ‘And he thinks parochial issues such as veterans' benefits won't swing the election.’
      • ‘That said, organizers don't need 20 million to swing the election he adds.’
      • ‘Only thirty students from the state school are registered to vote, so it isn't likely to swing the election.’
      • ‘Then there is the issue of whether a small mobilization advantage can be enough to swing the presidential election.’
      • ‘Young people have the potential to swing the election one way or the other.’
      • ‘Well, it's rare that a vice president swung an election one way or the other.’
    2. 4.2informal [with object]Succeed in bringing about.
      ‘what swung it was the £17,000 she offered the panel to let her win’
      • ‘At Manchester United, you had Monday morning and all day Thursday on academic things, so that's what swung it.’
      • ‘What swung it was the thought that my husband might be having to steel himself each time I drew near for a kiss.’
      • ‘But the bit that swung it for me was when she said that camping has never been so trendy.’
      • ‘According to Associated Press voting data, Democrats could have added 13 seats by swinging 49,469 votes.’
      • ‘But what might have finally swung it in his favour was his looks and his Face Of 2001 title.’
      • ‘But the thing she believes really swung it was that her husband was foreign and not even European.’
      • ‘Even as late as 2000, he could probably have swung it.’
      accomplish, achieve, obtain, acquire, get, secure, net, win, earn, attain, bag, capture, grab, hook
      View synonyms
  • 5[no object] Play music with a flowing but vigorous rhythm.

    ‘the band swung on’
    • ‘Ellington could swing with the strains of Egypt as much as the wails of Harlem.’
    • ‘Jazz bands swing, they groove, they jump, smoke, wail and wig out.’
    • ‘It took Fats a tune or two to get over his initial discomfort, but soon he was swinging like only Fats Waller could swing.’
    • ‘They don't just groove, they swing hard, and the polyrhythms created by the layered drummers create a groove that is as steady as it is complex.’
    • ‘The bands don't really swing, and don't give any indication they can, or would want to, for heaven's sake.’
    • ‘In places, for example, the orchestra has to swing like a jazz band, but that can only be suggested in musical notation; it has to be felt.’
    1. 5.1(of music) be played with a flowing but vigorous rhythm.
      • ‘Back among their brethren in Harlem many took comfort in late-night jams - where the music really swung - but also in drink and hard drugs.’
      • ‘The music swings and the professionals perform elaborately energetic movements.’
      • ‘One number rocked, one swung - stylistically it was all over the place, and much the better for it.’
      • ‘Their music neither rocks nor swings - it jumps.’
      • ‘These dozen folk-punk songs swing with an infectious rhythm.’
  • 6informal [no object] (of an event, place, or way of life) be lively, exciting, or fashionable.

    • ‘After all, this was the 60s and London was swinging.’
    • ‘Lam Morrisson & Band provided the live music and the place was really swinging.’
    • ‘The party was swinging all night long.’
  • 7informal [no object] Be promiscuous, especially by engaging in group sex or swapping sexual partners.

    • ‘We know a few couples who swing regularly.’
    • ‘I would like to get them to swing more often to impress my partner.’
    • ‘It doesn't mean your husband is bored with you but don't get too mad if he does swing with another partner at the club.’


  • 1A seat suspended by ropes or chains, on which someone may sit and swing back and forth.

    • ‘There's graffiti and one of the swings looks like it has already broken.’
    • ‘I was gripping onto the ropes of the swing with all my might.’
    • ‘The chains that had been holding the seat of the swing up were still sticking straight out.’
    • ‘He was swinging back and forth on a metal swing watching her.’
    • ‘All that's left are a couple of lengths of chain, swings long gone.’
    • ‘All that could be heard were the sounds of the swings swaying back and forth.’
    • ‘I reached the door, but instead of going inside, I took a seat on the swing.’
    • ‘He laughed lightly, pushing himself back and forth on the swing.’
    • ‘He sat down on one of the swings and looked at me expectantly.’
    • ‘An electricity company is warning children to stay away from its cables after workers found a rope swing attached to live wires.’
    • ‘I felt a hand grab the chain of the swing and pull it back.’
    • ‘Sarah pulled back on one of the tire swing's chains, making the circle it was spinning in grow smaller and get faster.’
    • ‘As she walked now, she looked at the empty swings, the empty merry-go-round, the empty slide.’
    • ‘She sat on her favorite swing swinging back and forth slowly… why?’
    • ‘She tightened her grip on the ropes of the swing.’
    • ‘He set her down on a swing, and seated himself into the one next to her.’
    • ‘He and a group of friends had been playing on a swing suspended between two trees in a field near his home.’
    • ‘In the end there wasn't that much of a problem and the kids are looking forward to getting back on the swings again.’
    • ‘Taking my hands off of the swing's chains, he led me around to face him.’
    • ‘I was able to put her in the swing or the bouncy seat, switch on the stereo and everyone was happy.’
    1. 1.1A period of time spent swinging back and forth on a seat suspended by ropes or chains.
      • ‘Go into the play ground and have a swing on the swings.’
      • ‘I decided it would be irresponsible of me to leave without ensuring that they worked properly. So I had a swing for 5 minutes.’
  • 2An act of swinging.

    ‘with the swing of her arm, the knife flashed through the air’
    • ‘Warm hands brushed my shoulders and I shrieked, lashing out with a violent swing of my arms.’
    • ‘He shrugged with an elaborate swing of his shoulders, a typical response from any adolescent who wasn't in the mood for sharing.’
    • ‘There are also clipping moments, but a large amount of these seem to come from quick swings of the camera or particularly massive spills.’
    • ‘Each stretch should be held for at least 10 seconds with 10 repetitions on each arm for arm swings.’
    • ‘Turning with a swing of his arms, Randy loped down the steps and across the grass to his own home, already noisy with the bickering of his parents.’
    • ‘I can't tell you how many times I've had races ruined by people giving me an elbow to the face or a hand to the hip disguised as an arm swing.’
    • ‘Shrapnel explodes into your face with every swing of the ax.’
    • ‘The March is a simple enough dance: march in place with exaggerated arm swings.’
    • ‘Michael was struggling to deflect a rain of blows, and the swing of his arm was getting slower and slower.’
    • ‘Dean punctuated the moment with a swing of his arm and a yell.’
    • ‘They fought righteously; every blow, every swing of their weapon, they made every motion count.’
    swaying, oscillation, undulation
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1The manner in which a golf club or a bat is swung.
      ‘the flaws in his swing weren't evident when he was an amateur’
      • ‘I knew some aspects of my swing were flawed, but I wasn't working towards curing them.’
      • ‘But my children did break out with the eldest boy taking his first tentative swing with a golf club in a coaching lesson costing £7 for an hour.’
      • ‘There's been a big change in his body mannerisms and his golf swing.’
      • ‘Strength without flexibility is not conducive to producing power in your golf swing.’
      • ‘It was a good experience to go through because I got a lot of what I wanted in my golf swing.’
      • ‘On the other hand, all my players have different golf swings.’
      • ‘Not only did playing fast boost his endurance; it improved his swing and accuracy, too.’
      • ‘He'll never hit long homers, but he has such remarkable bat control that he can alter his swing to lift the ball.’
      • ‘A proper stroke has been compared to the proper swing of a golf club.’
      • ‘If you think this article is going to be about the finer points of the follow through of the golf swing, then you are mistaken.’
      • ‘I'm not the type of hitter you would try to pitch around, I'm not a McGwire who can hit the ball out on each swing.’
      • ‘He said it was difficult to teach golf properly unless coaches could place their pupils' hands in a proper position on the club or turn their shoulders to demonstrate a proper swing.’
      • ‘Last season, he focused too much on trying to hit home runs by pulling the ball, and his swing got messed up in the process.’
      • ‘Someone is practising his golf swing in the nets on the sports area.’
      • ‘This is a very similar motion to the one that occurs during the hitting segment in the golf swing.’
      • ‘He has enough power that shortening his swing shouldn't reduce his long-ball potential.’
      • ‘He says he hit the ball better and his swing was sharper than it was during his hot streak, but too often he simply hit balls that didn't fall in.’
      • ‘When he mentioned something about having a nice feel for his golf swing, a reporter asked how he did that.’
      • ‘As a golf swing involves the whole body, any part of the body can be injured in the course of play, the researchers caution.’
      • ‘He had been showing a tentative swing in batting practice, though his aggressiveness was present in games.’
      • ‘In addition to the above, other factors need to be considered and corrected to improve your golf swing.’
      • ‘The researchers referred to timing as those forces that are applied to the golf club during the swing.’
      • ‘How can the golf swings of the top players differ so dramatically, yet work so well?’
      • ‘This system recognizes that golfers come in all shapes and sizes and their golf swing should reflect this.’
    2. 2.2[mass noun]The motion of swinging.
      ‘this short cut gave her hair new movement and swing’
      • ‘Here, layers are added at the chin length to increase hair volume and give some swing.’
      • ‘Until the 1920s, the most accurate timepieces depended on the regular swing of a pendulum.’
      • ‘A full skirt adds swing and style.’
    3. 2.3An attempted blow or punch.
      ‘Neil took a swing at her’
      • ‘After that, I snapped back to reality and started dodging his punches and swings.’
      • ‘He took a swing at the remaining youth, knocking the hat from his head.’
      • ‘She quickly turned back around and took a swing to punch me in the face but I jerked my head back so she could miss.’
      • ‘There were some swings and some punches as well as a few cheap kicks.’
      • ‘He slammed his drink down on the counter, headed over to the man with the loudest voice and took a swing at him.’
      • ‘Before the sword was near him, he struck the horse's head with an underhand swing, knocking the beast onto its side.’
    4. 2.4Cricket [mass noun]Sideways deviation of the ball from a regular path.
      [as modifier] ‘a swing bowler’
      • ‘The breakthrough came from Jones, an inspiration at times, who had begun to gain some swing as the ball scuffed.’
      • ‘Does it surprise you that genuine swing bowlers are such a rare breed these days?’
      • ‘He stuck to the same line and had some reverse swing going.’
      • ‘Pace bowlers should master swing, change of pace, bowling yorkers and other variations.’
      • ‘The West Indies were constrained early in their chase by some healthy swing bowling aided by the overcast conditions.’
      • ‘Coming back into the side after an injury, he will be looking to establish himself as the premier exponent of swing bowling in the country.’
      • ‘Serious back problems, then a dislocated shoulder restricted the left-arm swing bowler to a handful of appearances over the past two seasons.’
      • ‘The pace and late swing of Pakistan's fast bowlers proved too much to handle.’
      • ‘Bowlers depending on swing have traditionally fared well here.’
      • ‘He bowled an excellent spell late in the day, getting appreciable reverse swing.’
      • ‘I was getting swing, because essentially I am a swing bowler, but there were too many wides.’
      • ‘For a bowler who mainly relies on swing, you'd expect Hoggard to enjoy the conditions in England.’
      • ‘He bowled superbly, put ball in the right areas with a bit of swing, and made the wicket look like it was doing something.’
      • ‘They're all swing bowlers too, and there are not many swing bowlers in the world at the moment.’
      • ‘The only problem I had was learning to control the swing of the ball and I am working on that.’
      • ‘He told me to concentrate mostly on the old ball when it would take reverse swing, and his suggestion worked wonders.’
      • ‘His ability to swing the ball would be missed because it is swing bowling that has undone Australia's batsmen as much as anything.’
      • ‘Here's the best young swing bowler in the country.’
      • ‘Agarkar, it might be observed, is a much better bowler with the old ball when he can generate reverse swing.’
      • ‘The left-arm swing bowler has now gathered up 21 Championship wickets in the last six innings and he has taken them at an incredible average of 8.76 runs apiece.’
  • 3A discernible change in opinion, especially the amount by which votes or points scored change from one side to another.

    ‘a five per cent swing to Labour’
    • ‘His successive statements were often contradictory, but it cannot be assumed that these swings in his opinions were wholly tactical.’
    • ‘But he also possesses a majority of more than 5,000 votes - and that's after the massive swing to Labour at the last election.’
    • ‘A swing of three million votes is gigantic in our society where party allegiances are formed in childhood and reinforced by an omnipresent media.’
    • ‘Minor parties tend not to be elected, and the constituency system exaggerates national swings in votes to produce a larger than proportional swing in the numbers of seats won or lost.’
    • ‘In the 10 seats with the largest reductions in the informal vote, there was a swing to Labor of 0.2%.’
    • ‘The party is banking on a voter swing away from the government but having both candidates so close together makes vote management difficult in the four seat constituency.’
    • ‘While the vote is yet to be finalised, if a swing of that order were repeated across the country, the government would lose more than 20 seats.’
    • ‘A swing of 100,000 votes in a over two decades is quite phenomenal, and it points to a future where Unionists can no longer demand that it is their way or the highway.’
    • ‘But the violent swings in the electoral pendulum have implications that go far beyond the fortunes of the two major parties.’
    • ‘That's why there's going to be a huge swing in the next five years.’
    • ‘However, we feel that the swing in popular opinion highlighted in this election has far deeper roots.’
    • ‘Such a swing of opinion reflects the people's tendency to change tack depending on which way the wind is blowing.’
    • ‘The Liberal Party recorded its second lowest vote in history, only 33.8 percent - a swing of 8.42 percent.’
    • ‘The new millennium has also seen a swing in public opinion and political attitude towards independent education.’
    • ‘For any of the major parties to gain outright control of the hung council, it would require a major swing in votes.’
    • ‘First, as in 2000, I expect a last minute swing toward the Democrats.’
    trend, tendency, drift, movement, current, course
    fluctuation, change, shift, switch, variation, oscillation
    change, move
    View synonyms
  • 4[mass noun] A style of jazz or dance music with a flowing but vigorous rhythm.

    • ‘His choreography is full of intricate rhythms done with up-tempo swing and other driving jazz music forms.’
    • ‘Just in time for the birth of swing, he left for New York.’
    • ‘This album of songs from 1935 to 1941 comes from an era that some wouldn't necessarily associate Billie Holiday with: big band and swing.’
    • ‘However, big band and swing - the rock and pop of the day - were in full bloom.’
    • ‘From the States came rhythm and blues, hot on the heels of swing and jazz which had arrived some years earlier.’
    • ‘The dance floor is full and patrons are once again swaying to the sounds of swing.’
    • ‘The band performs a wide ranging repertoire, from rousing marches to the big band swing and jazz.’
    • ‘The four sound very comfortable together, with an easy sense of swing that would put many long-established groups to shame.’
    • ‘His chorus blends the most modern harmonies with old-fashioned swing.’
    • ‘The second piece was a book review of American swing and jazz, and how adult pop culture was supplanted by teen pop culture.’
    • ‘Grooving to the sounds of bebop and swing, a growing number of artists are turning to Jazz for inspiration and finding success along the way’
    • ‘The band has a wide appeal, playing everything from small band swing to Dixieland jazz and 50s influenced rhythm and blues.’
    • ‘Moody melodies vie for attention with swing, ballads and jazz.’
    • ‘Before bebop the biggest genre in jazz was swing.’
    • ‘She will be showcasing a variety of material from the classic era of jazz and swing in a set that will include many new additions to her repertoire.’
    • ‘They've gone from swing to Italian flavored jazz to americana.’
    • ‘What I do like about swing is when the horn section is really tight by itself and together with the rhythm section, and when the soloists do their solos, they could be heard over the mix.’
    • ‘She has a special feel for swing and Latin dance rhythms and enjoys seeing patrons get up and dance while she is playing solo.’
    • ‘It's certainly not easy for a jazz pianist famous for swing to turn over to bebop.’
    • ‘If it's people who love big-band swing, wouldn't they rather just hear the classics?’
    rhythm, beat, pulse, cadence, pace, rhythmical flow, rhythmical pattern, measure, metre, tempo, lilt
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1The rhythmic feeling or drive of swing.
      • ‘On record, he is a master of filling spaces with innovative licks, whilst still leaving enough room for the music's swing and rhythm to ease the tunes along.’
      • ‘Whilst these recordings are very good and well recorded, they just don't have that swing.’
      • ‘But it's the song's swing rather than its lyrics that keep it agitated.’
      • ‘It is perhaps the busiest of the productions on the album working more of a swing into its rhythmic structure.’
  • 5North American A swift tour involving a number of stops, especially one undertaken as part of a political campaign.

    • ‘Also afterwards, President Bush opened a five-day campaign swing with a bus tour in Florida.’
    • ‘Cheney just finished a campaign swing through Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.’
    • ‘During a recent campaign swing through Ohio, a place he seems to visit every week, he really outdid himself.’
    • ‘Now his comments came ahead of a campaign swing by President Bush.’
    • ‘‘This was an important stop on my current swing through the region,’ Mr Cheney said.’
  • 6(in musical theatre) an understudy, typically one who covers multiple roles in the chorus of a particular production.

    • ‘He sang, he danced and read scenes of Max and Franz, eventually besting more than a dozen other hopefuls to become a swing.’
    • ‘Powell went on a week after she was hired as a swing on Hairspray.’
    • ‘Former Joffrey dancer Meg Paul, who has been with the production from its workshop days as both a swing and an understudy, is now also a dance captain.’
    • ‘And interchangeability - both inside and out - is the key to success as a swing.’
    • ‘Beginning as a swing and understudy in 1996, the teenager eventually scored a major role and performed the lead as an understudy about ten times.’


  • get (back) into the swing of things

    • informal Become accustomed to (or return to) an activity or routine.

      • ‘For the moment, I'm still getting into the swing of things.’
      • ‘I think I was getting back into the swing of things on Sunday, but Sunday night ended up with very achey joints.’
      • ‘September's a busy month of dance where everybody gets back into the swing of things.’
      • ‘Perhaps my posts today evidence that I am getting back into the swing of things, but we shall see.’
      • ‘I have adapted pretty quick to it and got into the swing of things.’
      • ‘I did what I knew best, and eventually, I got into the swing of things.’
      • ‘At the moment we are just getting back into the swing of things here in the college after a much appreciated break.’
      • ‘I'm going to try to get back into the swing of things from now on and hopefully establish a routine, not just with the blogging, but with other things to, like revision for one.’
      • ‘Just getting back into the swing of things after a hectic few days.’
      • ‘So I'm back into the swing of things at the gym and things are really looking up at this stage.’
  • go with a swing

    • informal (of a party or other event) be lively and enjoyable.

      • ‘Fairground, stilt-walkers and fun and games galore, not to mention a colossal supply of booze, means that the biggest free party in racing goes with a swing from long before noon.’
      • ‘It's the morning after the night before, and your party clearly went with a swing.’
      • ‘To make the party go with a swing, they have combined their efforts for a fundraising event.’
      • ‘Staff who make the house-party atmosphere go with a swing are the biggest boon.’
      • ‘The Golden Years Christmas party went with a swing on Friday in the community centre.’
      • ‘Making the summer go with a swing has been a scheme of note.’
      • ‘The August Garden Party went with a swing, in perfect weather after a morning of downpours.’
      • ‘There are no glittering curtains, he has no glamorous assistant, but with the aid of several members of the audience, he does all the dazzling that is needed to make an evening of magic go with a swing.’
      • ‘The committee had spared no effort in trying to make the village look its best and the entertainment and other functions went with a swing.’
      • ‘All this makes a jolly evening go with a swing.’
  • in full swing

    • At the height of activity.

      ‘by nine-thirty the dance was in full swing’
      • ‘The annual Garda anti drink-driving campaign at Christmas time is now in full swing.’
      • ‘The centre is now back in full swing with various groups and organisations using the facilities.’
      • ‘The carnival is in full swing with plenty of activities for all the family.’
      • ‘A new 6pm to midnight shift was introduced this month, when the festive party season was in full swing.’
      • ‘The drinking is in full swing - the men oblivious to the desecration that has just occurred.’
      • ‘The training camps, which will get into full swing shortly, should design special sessions to make the best use of the change.’
      • ‘Lizzie and I arrived at Trafalgar Square with the parade in full swing.’
      • ‘Preparations for the competition will be in full swing by the end of January.’
      • ‘Come New Year the gym will be full of newbies and the diet season will be in full swing.’
      • ‘The fine weather has been greatly welcomed by the people of the locality with the cutting of turf in full swing.’
  • swing both ways

    • informal Be bisexual.

      ‘I was hoping he swings both ways’
      • ‘The stunning actress told the magazine recently that she swings both ways, and she is in no way ashamed of her sexual preferences’
      • ‘They find out that he swings both ways.’
      • ‘At one moment, there is a hint that she might swing both ways.’
      • ‘Her story is said to be "an engaging romantic adventure", though there's no word on whether she swings both ways.’
      • ‘The singer denied claims that he swings both ways.’
  • swing for the fences

    • informal Attempt to satisfy high aspirations that are very difficult to achieve.

      ‘the management team is really swinging for the fences’
      • ‘A company cannot realistically swing for the fences unless it pulls together the right team.’
      • ‘The more seasoned CEO is swinging for the fences with the proposed acquisition.’
      • ‘Many webmasters will "swing for the fences" and, after not having any success for so long, bow out of the race entirely.’
      • ‘He was swinging for the fences here and certainly not playing it safe.’
      • ‘The mayor swings for the fences with stuff like congestion pricing.’
  • swing the lead

    • informal Shirk one's duty; malinger.

      • ‘On the other hand, we all know that there are thousands who are swinging the lead in trying to milk the system for all it's worth.’
      • ‘His bluntness did not always make him popular, particularly with those he thought were swinging the lead, but his team were always focussed.’
      • ‘Now we all have families, mortgages and bills to pay (council tax included) the same as everybody else, would you swing the lead losing that amount of money?’
      • ‘It was upsetting because the last thing I would ever have done was swing the lead.’
      • ‘It's not so much that people are swinging the lead, but that the benefits culture of dependency creates a depression which is hard to get out of.’
      • ‘It's not as if I can pull a sickie either, Tracy can tell when I'm swinging the lead.’
      • ‘Apparently life begins at 40-which will come as something of a relief to any of us who've been swinging the lead for the past few decades.’
      • ‘Employers criticise us for writing lines for employees who they claim are swinging the lead.’
      • ‘As I'm covering classes this year frankly no-one is going to care whether I'm there or not, it's just the idea that they might think I'm swinging the lead that worries me.’
      pretend to be ill, fake illness, feign illness, pretend to be an invalid, sham, shirk, skulk
      View synonyms
  • swings and roundabouts

    • A situation in which different actions or options result in no eventual gain or loss.

      • ‘My individual record this season has been pretty good as I've certainly won more than I've lost, but like any sport it's all swings and roundabouts.’
      • ‘I don't want to have to, but it's swings and roundabouts.’
      • ‘But it is swings and roundabouts, and we have spent some fairly miserable weeks digging rain-swept car parks and damp, dark caves.’
      • ‘It's a game of swings and roundabouts but there's not a bookie in the business who would claim to be behind at the moment.’
      • ‘But surely it is a case of swings and roundabouts.’
      • ‘It's a case of swings and roundabouts where prejudice is concerned.’
      • ‘Given that the council makes something like in excess of £2 million from off-street car parks, and that income has gone up, I think there's an element of swings and roundabouts.’
      • ‘It tends to be swings and roundabouts really - sometimes I will be busy writing and other times I concentrate on designing websites.’
      • ‘It's all about swings and roundabouts at the end of the day, and although we would like to see more volume everybody finds themselves in the same position.’
      • ‘Then again, I don't pay for bandwidth, so I guess it's swings and roundabouts really.’
  • swing into action

    • Quickly begin acting or operating.

      ‘fire and rescue vehicles swung into action’
      • ‘A massive clear-up operation is to swing into action at a playing field which travellers occupied for more than six weeks.’
      • ‘Emergency personnel were supposed to swing into action from around 9.30 am, but were delayed until around 9.51 am because of a formal opening before the exercise.’
      • ‘The internet and foreign newspapers were likely to swing into action, bandying around allegations without having to worry about whether they were true or not.’
      • ‘An action plan prepared by the health authority had already begun to swing into action and many key changes were under way.’
      • ‘The key is to have a network of informed organizations and individuals who are already up to speed on media issues and can swing into action on short notice.’
      • ‘The close-knit community will have to swing into action again to raise funding for the community centre costing an estimated €300,000.’
      • ‘Long-prepared procedures, contained in the Underground's emergency plan, began to swing into action.’
      • ‘A special team of professional witnesses are also set to swing into action to gather evidence on the culprits as the council gets tough with persistent offenders.’
      • ‘These include the vaccination of small numbers of military and medical specialists who would swing into action in the event of biological attack.’
      • ‘Rescue and relief systems did not swing into action until well after the storm had hit and caused its devastation, with many lives lost as a result.’


Old English swingan ‘to beat, whip’, also ‘rush’, geswing ‘a stroke with a weapon’, of Germanic origin; related to German schwingen brandish.