1literary A young lover or suitor.
suitor, wooer, worshipper, beau, sweetheart, lover, love, beloved, lady love, boyfriend, girlfriend, young man, young lady, man friend, lady friend, escortView synonyms
- ‘We all loved Queen Aouda and her handsome and dashing swain, the hero of the piece, Phileas Fogg.’
- ‘Many a desperate swain would have risked life for the privilege of pressing his lips to the mysterious hand.’
- ‘‘You sound like a lovesick swain,’ she told him, and walked to the window.’
- ‘Old and blind, Juliette gave her a lock of Chateaubriand's hair when her eighty-year-old swain died.’
- ‘In Lycidas, the poet / swain in the poem, together with the author, anticipate ‘Pastures new’ on the morrow.’
2archaic A country youth.
Late Old English (denoting a young man attendant on a knight), from Old Norse sveinn lad.