Definition of swag in US English:



  • 1A curtain or piece of fabric fastened so as to hang in a drooping curve.

    • ‘Before long, wreaths will adorn all your doors, and swags will hang from every wall.’
    • ‘I suffocate in a room with lots of swags and tassels.’
    • ‘The plain grey silk wall panels and simple curtains, in fabrics by Pierre Frey, convey understated luxury without being stodgy - there are no fussy swags and tassels.’
    • ‘A swag is a decorative accent to fabric created by hanging a fabric in a curved pattern between two points.’
    • ‘The work features billowing swags of colorful cloth set against a silver and gold foil background splashed with red and brown oil paint, and thin copper tubing traversing the width of the entire field.’
    • ‘Curtains are becoming more simple and swags and tails, while the classic window dressing, now look a little incongruous and dated in a modern house.’
    • ‘Some untitled works from 1999 consist of a series of swags of satin, attached to curtain rods and installed on a wall.’
    • ‘Drape some fabric over a wood pole to create an informal swag.’
    • ‘In fact, to listen to her, you would think the flesh hung from her shoulders like swags from a curtain rail.’
    • ‘The swags of curtain material draped around the bed add to the mood, recalling colonialists' luxurious homes in the Caribbean islands.’
    • ‘Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen abandons the swags and tie-backs in his Cornish home, although the locals are always asking his opinion on theirs.’
    • ‘Hence the bewildering array of prime-time programmes showing inept plumbers caught on CCTV or grown men making curtain swags out of potato sacks.’
    • ‘From its white colonnades to its elaborately pleated and ruched swags of ivory canvas overhead, Brio looks great.’
    • ‘Decoratively draped over the frame is a swag of gray fabric painted with an orange dot on a light blue square accented with red.’
    • ‘Top treatments can run the gamut from elaborate swags to a simple piece of fabric tossed casually across a wooden drapery pole.’
    • ‘The classic toile fabric used for the window swags appealed to Lynn for its Country French feel.’
    1. 1.1 A decorative garland or chain of flowers, foliage, or fruit fastened so as to hang in a drooping curve.
      ‘swags of holly and mistletoe’
      • ‘Designers often gave these interiors a seasonal mood by adding evergreen wreaths, garlands, or swags.’
      • ‘Even on the street itself are votive shrines set into the wall, lovingly adorned with plastic flowers or swags of neon lights.’
      • ‘As well as swags and wreaths, they embraced the idea of Christmas trees with enthusiasm.’
      • ‘This combines classical motifs in the putti arranged around the bier supporting swags, with a Gothic treatment of the recumbent effigy.’
      • ‘For the featured fabric border and sheer curtains, the entire stencil is used for the border, the central motif for the panels and the edge motif for the swag.’
      • ‘We imagined evergreen swags and bright poinsettias giving way to quieter displays of moss tucked in copper trays, a tranquil water garden, and other gentle reminders of spring.’
      • ‘People can learn how to create wonderful swags, welcome door wreaths and mantle garlands.’
      • ‘They are decorated with stylised masks on cartouches, from which there extend swags carrying fruit.’
      • ‘To the front, a yew hedge is clipped into swags to mirror the ogee windows of the house, framing views of the Bringewood hills and Welsh Marches in the distance.’
      • ‘Nurseries are stocked with greenery - garlands, wreaths, and conifer swags - for adorning a door, gate, or wall over a fireplace.’
      • ‘The mansion was surrounded by wide green lawn, decorated with swags and garlands.’
      • ‘Acres of sumptuous white swags were effective as a backdrop, but most impressive of all was the thrilling singing by the lead roles.’
      • ‘The Bunclody Horticultural Society will give a floral demonstration before Christmas featuring the festive season with decorating items for mantels, table arrangements, swags, wreaths and more.’
      • ‘There are decorative rods, swags and for the most genteel draperies, and hardware with a touch of whimsy.’
      • ‘There's more to holly than the shapely, lustrous leaves and winter berries that enhance our winter bouquets, wreaths, and swags.’
      festoon, lei, wreath, chain, loop, ring, circle, swathe
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    2. 1.2 A carved or painted representation of a swag of flowers, foliage, or fruit.
      ‘fine plaster swags’
      • ‘Adam created many variations on the basic design of a central handle flanked by pendant swags and scrolling foliage.’
      • ‘The boardroom is highly traditional: it is panelled in a late 17 th-century fashion, with pedimented doorways and some rather fine carved swags.’
      • ‘Symmetry, geometric forms, and decorative motifs such as swags, urns, and lyres were combined in the architecture of the period.’
      • ‘It is in typical ‘Kentian’ style, with the cornice supported on scrolled brackets flanking a frieze with swags and a central mask, the jambs being carved as female terms with classical drapery.’
      • ‘The three flanking bays on each side feature long decorative panels of swags between the first and second floors, but it is not known if these were executed.’
      • ‘By 1671 he was working in London and is best known for his naturalistic woodcarvings of swags of fruit and flowers, small animals, and cherubs' heads.’
      • ‘Using the basted line as a centering and positioning aid, hoop one panel with cut-away stabilizer underneath and embroider the swag on the left half of the panel.’
      • ‘Specialists can date and place a frame by reading an elaborate code of swags, garlands, urns, egg-and-dart, and oval sunburst motifs.’
      • ‘Position and stitch a swag and holiday motif over the seam as shown.’
      • ‘Notable neoclassical features include the square plinth base, flame finial, and engraved swags of flowers draped from rosettes.’
      • ‘Boucher's pictures are festooned with swags of cupidons instead of the fruit and flowers of his decorative predecessors such as Jan Brueghel.’
      • ‘But despite the brocaded swags, ornamental carvings and original works of art here, you won't feel you have to tiptoe down the corridors and talk in whispers.’
      • ‘A stone frieze of swags, bows and fruits carries the wrought iron dome.’
      • ‘Decoration could be chased or applied, such as borders of silver or gold, or floral swags, laurel wreaths, and stylized scrolls in varicolored gold.’
      • ‘The squeegee method creates looping swags of paint which resemble fabric folds, or even, at times, X-ray images of rib cages.’
      • ‘The small entrance hall has a delicate ceiling decorated with simple swags, and contains the principal staircase.’
      • ‘These neoclassical boxes are characterized by the division of the decoration into compartments, with a central medallion bordered by garlands of varicolored gold or enamels, swags, or raised beads.’
      • ‘Boullee goes beyond portraiture in his desire for representation, even as he postulates an architecture that does without any of the conventional modes of representation, columns, friezes, swags and so on.’
      • ‘Decorative embellishments consist of two cobalt blue swags extending from a central round cobalt blue floral motif to the left and right handles.’
      • ‘The plaster frieze with cartouches and swags of fruit and the luminous stained-glass panels over the windows give the room a baroque glamour.’
  • 2informal Money or goods taken by a thief or burglar.

    ‘their homes offer tempting swag for burglars’
    loot, plunder, pillage, haul, prize, trophy
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    1. 2.1 Products given away free, typically for promotional purposes.
      ‘local studios provide swag, spirits, and food’
      • ‘Nothing gets a teacher's attention like free swag for her/his students.’
      • ‘I suppose the upshot of all this and my actual point, is that you should never think we've got a free ride, getting games and other swag for nothing.’
      • ‘For all the t-shirts and swag, I kept reminding myself it was all about the games.’
      • ‘11:45 AM: Having made it through about half the dealer's room, my bag is already full to bursting with free swag.’
      • ‘Put that plastic truck (or other piece of marketing swag) down and back away.’
      • ‘Local studios and companies sponsor the holes and provide swag, spirits and food.’
      • ‘Capcom hooked us up with some nifty Joe swag, including autographed posters, limited-edition laser cells, t-shirts, hats, and - of course - a copy of the game!’
      • ‘However, that doesn't stop us from prowling tradeshow aisles, stuffing our bags full o' swag and filling our local disks with downloads.’
      • ‘The myth is that you have to be part of the "media elite" or a retailer to attend the show, attain copious amounts of swag, get a picture with a booth babe or two, etc.’
      • ‘It was a disappointing show in terms of swag.’
      • ‘Beth was a popular host of the Mobius conference, where grassroots fans sites get to carry away bagfuls of swag, worth up to $1,500 per person in some cases.’
      • ‘While that sounds like a lot of parties and swag, in reality online company promotions encompass more than just T-shirts and coffee mugs and now include a growing number of online promotions, such as coupons, rebates, price discounts, sampling, free products, points programs and referrals, say experts.’
      • ‘The beautiful people then relocated to a private Gift Lounge inside where they "shopped" for free swag to make themselves even more beautiful.’
      • ‘In short, Traffic puts together teams of people who are fans of bands willing to help promote that band in return for 'swag' - gig tickets, merchandise and other desirable stuff.’
    2. 2.2US Marijuana, typically of a low grade.
      ‘prices range from $40 a 10-seed packet for some Jamaican swag to $345 per pack for something tastier’
      • ‘My best friend's dad was actually my swag dealer for a while.’
      • ‘It's difficult to imagine him as anything but the Dean of Students, as some lowly history major puffing on swag.’
      • ‘To my surprise, the lead singer was the same guy who sold me some swag earlier.’
      • ‘I smoke swag but I obviously prefer the stronger stuff.’
      • ‘A first time smoker will get stupid high off of swag.’
      • ‘I recently quit smoking swag all together.’
  • 3US informal Bold self-assurance of style or manner.

    ‘she's proved she's got swag with this sporty two-piece’
    ‘Adam had swag—he moved like a man who had the world at his feet’
  • 4Australian NZ A traveler's or miner's bundle of personal belongings.

    • ‘Elders climb stiffly out of the bus, while the young ones unload swags off the top.’
    • ‘Tents and tarps and swags were scattered, and under the verandah of the homestead the Townsends gathered with many of their friends.’
    • ‘It was a camping trip involving eskies and swags.’
    • ‘The only thing I could do was make for the revolver that was in my swag.’
    • ‘During the Depression when you were a young girl, a very young girl in fact, of course this was still a period when men with swags walked the country roads in search of a job, in search of a meal.’
    1. 4.1informal A large number or amount.
      ‘the seller left a swag of unpaid bills’
      • ‘A poll in October - in three months time - would require a whole new swag of policies, and where's the money coming from for that?’
      • ‘He's come up with a swag of preliminary figures and tables on who votes informal - and why.’
      • ‘After a hugely successful tour for his new album Long Way Home Grafton's darling of country, Troy Cassar-Daley, has added a swag of extra dates to his tour list before heading home for a break.’
      • ‘You bet it is, and I'm sure anyone who has ever left one of those co-op job fairs with enough swag to redecorate their living room will back me up on this.’
      • ‘On Saturday, July 3rd, for the third straight year, publishers big and small banded together under the banner of free swag for everyone.’
      • ‘To put it bluntly, I get a swag of emails from league fans - including fans living in Brisbane - who think the Broncos are ‘up themselves!’’
      • ‘Michael Finch brought along a couple of wild pigs from Blenheim, Lank Grenole bought along a swag of Venison and others bought a great selection of tucker as well.’
      • ‘AS NASA's two Martian rovers continue sending information home, dozens of scientists have crunched the numbers on the most comprehensive swag of data ever collected from another planet.’
      • ‘The biggest danger when an incumbent president hits the money trail is that his quest for campaign swag will put him in close proximity with donors who want special favors from the government.’
      • ‘Local studios and companies sponsor the holes and provide swag, spirits and food.’
      • ‘This week at the World Swimming Championships being held in Montreal, Canada, the Australian team has won another swag of Gold, Silver and Bronze.’
      • ‘Nothing gets a teacher's attention like free swag for her/his students.’
      • ‘Today it offers you a swag of flash restaurants and good hotels.’
      • ‘Now, there are a lot of disgruntled and angry sugar farmers in a swag of marginal coalition seats.’
      • ‘Let's see directors put their money where their mouths are by issuing a swag of shares or options to themselves at prices at whatever range or value Bain comes up with.’
      • ‘Last year the band received a nomination for Best Live Act at the Australian Live Music Awards as well as doing a swag of gigs around the country including the Big Day Out.’
      • ‘The native of Sydney, Australia, made his American debut in 1957 at Memorial Park, where Palmer carried off that year's Houston Open trophy and swag.’
      • ‘No apologies for the stroke of fortune, just as there was no real complaint in 1998 when Labor picked up more votes nationwide but was unable to crack a swag of narrowly-held marginal seats.’
      • ‘Diablo Free Ride Park in Vernon, New Jersey offered up another helping of large cash prizes and swag to downhill racers.’
      • ‘The beautiful people then relocated to a private Gift Lounge inside where they ‘shopped’ for free swag to make themselves even more beautiful.’
      a lot, a great number, a large number, a great quantity, a large quantity, host, horde, mass, mountain, droves, swarm, army, legion, sea, abundance, profusion
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[with object]
  • 1Arrange in or decorate with a swag or swags of fabric.

    ‘swag the fabric gracefully over the curtain tie-backs’
    • ‘Every year by December 6 - St. Nicholas' Day - the exterior of the historic Georgian-style home is swagged with laurel and windows are filled with candlelight.’
    • ‘Of course, if someone is connected well enough or important enough to swag some trendy ones, it's different.’
    • ‘Tiny flower prints or gingham for a casual country look, swagged silky fabric, bright or pastel tissue paper for more formal occasions.’
    • ‘The curtains at the end of the room are swagged and ornate.’
    • ‘Be sure you have enough fabric to swag gently across the bed and behind the headboard or mattress.’
    • ‘They wear a mixture of swathed and swagged traditional togas and cast-off Oxfam rags.’
    • ‘The interior is a lot lighter than in traditional Spanish homes, and English touches such as tweedy armchairs and swagged curtains make it feel homey.’
    • ‘Silk and velvet fabrics were draped, swagged, or suspended from ceilings to achieve a graceful yet ordered effect.’
    • ‘The walls are ragged in pale terracotta tones, and white draperies are swagged artfully around the front windows.’
    • ‘Wellstone's opponent is Norm Coleman, former mayor of St. Paul and enjoying all the endorsements and swag the RNC can throw in his direction.’
  • 2Australian NZ Travel with one's personal belongings in a bundle.

    ‘swagging it in Queensland’
    ‘swagging my way up to the Northern Territory’
  • 3literary no object Hang heavily.

    ‘the crinkly old hide swags here and there’
    curve down, hang down, dip, droop, bulge, bag
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    1. 3.1 Sway from side to side.
      ‘the stout chief sat swagging from one side of the carriage to the other’


Middle English (in the sense ‘bulging bag’): probably of Scandinavian origin. The original sense of the verb (early 16th century) was ‘cause to sway or sag’.