Definition of swap in US English:


(also swop)

verbswapping, swaps, swapped

[with object]
  • 1Take part in an exchange of.

    ‘we swapped phone numbers’
    ‘I'd swap places with you any day’
    no object ‘I was wondering if you'd like to swap with me’
    • ‘Split them up, and you'll be able to swap with one of them.’
    • ‘That evening we had a fantastic time, drinking dem pints, bantering away and swapping experiences.’
    • ‘And living in the country and being a part of a close-knit community is definitely something they wouldn't swap with their city cousins.’
    • ‘The area has been swopped back and forth between Castlebar and Swinford over the past few elections.’
    • ‘There are questions about his range and he could eventually swap with Mark Ellis.’
    • ‘But what is annoying about a site like swaparoo is that you have to have something to swap with someone who you want something from.’
    • ‘A facelift inside the store had been carried out and most of the shelves had been swopped about.’
    • ‘A few of us went to the local tavern afterward to swap Al stories and remember a dedicated superintendent.’
    • ‘One motorist travelling to Stansted Airport was forced to swap with his wife, who was his passenger, when he failed a roadside test.’
    • ‘But for a solid month they ran Dynamite, then after swapping a few others, brought it back for another few weeks of steady business.’
    • ‘By now Laois were playing the better football and the Dublin management were forced into swapping Cleere and Downes in an effort to curtail Brennan, but it had little effect.’
    • ‘For now, file traders should swap with caution.’
    • ‘If you have a few extras in your own vomit bag collection, you can even swap with Fred to get one step closer to a complete set.’
    • ‘The secondary slot can always be changed with whatever the player wants to swap with or finds at the feet of a dead enemy.’
    • ‘For this meeting, everyone brings a favorite book and chooses someone to swap with.’
    • ‘But come the weekend, Mr Perie swaps his Vauxhall Corsa often associated with sensible driving for a rally car.’
    • ‘John Murrell swaps his normal comic role for a more serious part this year but patrons need not fear, there will be plenty to laugh at.’
    • ‘Theories about its provenance, navigational failure and hopes of survival were being swapped freely on Battersea Bridge.’
    • ‘They detected a burning passion among a new generation of music lovers to swap with friends and strangers digital files of their favorite tunes.’
    • ‘I presume that the naming of Tommy Dunne at wing-forward is a ploy and that he'll swap with Paul Kelly and come into midfield.’
    bandy, exchange, trade, reciprocate, pass back and forth, give and take
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    1. 1.1 Give (one thing) and receive something else in exchange.
      ‘swap one of your sandwiches for a cheese and pickle?’
      • ‘In swapping Alex Totten for Peter Cormack, Wright is simply trading one trusted former manager for another.’
      • ‘The Prikazka salad also had an appealing look, so I couldn't resist swopping my plate with one of my friends.’
      • ‘This thread is to allow people to swap or trade or exchange things relating to games and gameplay: for example, discs, dice, specific gaming books etc.’
      • ‘Genesis Energy Chief Executive, Murray Jackson swops his ‘captain of industry hat ‘for a toreador's montera this week assisted by Carmen opera star, Jessie Raven.’’
      • ‘The pair swopped glamour for grind as they undertook the 80 mile journey through the Sierra del Escambray mountain range this month.’
      • ‘But are our traditional towns ready to trade in fish and chips for gambling chips, to swap Punch and Judy for Céline Dion at the Bellagio?’
      • ‘Frank has swopped his BMW from the first film, for a beautiful Audi which helps him do some senior-class acrobatics which should leave you clapping your hands in admiration at the audacity to even attempt anything as absurd.’
      • ‘Yorkshire Water employees seem to be making a habit of swopping their suits for T-shirts, jeans and wellies, and getting plastered in paint or mud.’
      • ‘She plays the daughter of grizzled Peter Mullan, who swaps her and her dying mother for a stake in a gold mine.’
      • ‘This time they swapped their preferred beauty parade for some concerted tight exchanges, of which Mealamu's try was the icing.’
      • ‘Perhaps, for example, the car could be swapped for Panini football stickers or bartered for unwanted livestock.’
      • ‘At their most basic level free markets depend on trade, voluntary exchange, swapping, call it what you will.’
      exchange, interchange, trade, barter, trade off, bargain, traffic
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    2. 1.2 Substitute (one thing) for another.
      ‘I swapped my busy life on Wall Street for a peaceful mountain retreat’
      • ‘Thanks to Beattie's goals, Southampton have become this season's surprise package, swapping a seemingly annual battle against relegation for a top six push.’
      • ‘The diminutive diva and her husband Don Burton have had a busy year in the property market, swapping their €4.5m equestrian estate in rural Limerick for their two new homes in Howth.’
      • ‘Is this swapping manuscripts a substitute for the editor of past days?’
      • ‘Eric and Michael had to swap the comfort of motor transport for pack mules and on foot.’
      • ‘It's only the one letter they've altered, swapping the ‘m’ for an ‘h’.’
      • ‘For people destined to seethe in traffic jams or to spend hours on packed public transport every weekday, swapping the rat race for an idyllic life in the country can seem like the easy option.’
      • ‘Selling All-Clad and buying Royal Doulton meant swapping a highly profitable American producer of cookware for a UK-based company that makes figurines.’
      • ‘The story begins when she swaps rain-sodden London for sun-kissed France and moves into the summer house of her publisher.’
      • ‘Councillor Guy Senior will take charge of regeneration and transport policy, swapping with Councillor Kathy Tracey, who steps into his shoes at environment and public services.’
      • ‘The Warneford School teacher is swapping chilly Highworth for a tropical island paradise in the Caribbean, where she will be helping to pass a vibrant musical heritage on to a new generation.’
      • ‘Defeatism is about swapping Mother England for Sister Australia, the fear that one cannot make it in the big bad world, so New Zealand needs someone else's skirts to hide behind.’
      • ‘Men use cars for business trips and long-distance commuting Many women say they would happily swap their cars for pleasant walking conditions and better public transport.’
      • ‘A pack of journalists gently teased the fashion model about swapping Paris for industrial Teesside.’
      • ‘One the practical side of things, if your the type of person who swaps, upgrades and rearranges their equipment on a regular basis, the ClearPC is going to be a bit of a pain.’
      • ‘There's even a chance that the reverse could also occur - that folks will swap their subscriptions for a free ride.’
      • ‘While the Metrolink extension has run into a funding block, transport chiefs have revealed another secret weapon in the fight to get drivers to swap their cars for public transport.’
      • ‘However, Ken's motives for swapping the cold, often uncomfortable dugout for the comfort zone of the boardroom last year have nothing to do with making the manager's life a misery.’
      • ‘Now Rebecca Loos is swapping Golden Balls for golden chains when she jets into Southampton to promote a city jewellers' new range, which has been snapped up by department store Debenhams.’
      • ‘Analysis What sort of investment in public transport would make you swap from plane to long haul trains or from car to bus or commuter train?’
      • ‘The perpetual substitute, Ed Coode, was swapped out of the eight to take up a place in the four.’
      substitute, transpose, exchange, change, switch, swap round, reverse, invert, turn about, turn around, change round, move, move around, rearrange, reorder, replace, supplant
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nounPlural swaps

  • 1An act of exchanging one thing for another.

    ‘let's do a swap’
    • ‘Over haddock and chips at Fecci's we resolved to tell the town fathers that they should do a swap with Milford Haven.’
    • ‘That same year, Independence Township in Michigan lost $2 million through its misuse of domestic swaps.’
    • ‘Rojek says land swaps could amalgamate under-utilized tot lots and small isolated parks, creating larger and more accessible open spaces.’
    • ‘I started collecting when I was about 13, doing swaps of Army badges and medals at school.’
    • ‘At his new home just up the road from Tottenham's training ground at Chigwell, Robinson keeps his collection of shirt swaps.’
    • ‘But at lunch on the first day we were approached by the helpful Hotel Manager Henri and offered a swap to an overwater bungalow.’
    • ‘The keyboard player seems to have cut through an electric cable, but the rest of the band don't notice. To illustrate the song, the band all effect costume swaps, like the quick change artists of music hall.’
    • ‘This has left some competitors holding capacity and has led to the temptation to go in for swaps of network capacity at inflated values and with no customers to use it.’
    • ‘The study also showed that ride sharing had spread to the Internet in the form of ‘Car Pool’ message boards where the ‘Road Robbers’ set up their swaps.’
    • ‘Congress is unlikely to impose such a moratorium, and many public-land managers fear losing land swaps.’
    • ‘Ever think of setting up a mailing list or something of past participants who want to be notified of new swaps?’
    • ‘There's a couple of positional swaps as skipper Andy Kay, usually a flanker, lines up at No.8, with Grant Williams slotting in at blind-side.’
    • ‘He managed to parlay these record swaps into a thriving mail-order business in the back pages of Goldmine and Trouser Press.’
    • ‘The teenager told police he had no personal interest in pictures of children so young but liked images of girls around his own age and used the others as swaps.’
    • ‘Velchev said that the transfers were mostly an attempt for publicising the benefits of the swop.’
    • ‘Other tactics involve deep leveraging, programme trading, swaps, arbitrage and derivatives that retail investors find difficult to master.’
    • ‘That suggests that Hutton will head the primary vote for the also rans, so unless something weird happens with preference swaps, he should be on his way to Canberra.’
    • ‘We were selling gas at $2.50 and we can now do a swap at $3 for the same gas, so that does not seem to be…’
    • ‘Schools can direct parents to free sources of reading materials (such as the school itself, libraries, and community organizations) and manage book swaps.’
    • ‘If you can locate seed for sale or through a swap, they're definitely worth the effort.’
    exchange, interchange, trade, barter, switch, trade-off, substitution
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    1. 1.1 A thing that has been or may be given in exchange for something else.
      ‘I've got one already, but I'll keep this as a swap’
      • ‘This was another money-saving swap that should benefit the Indians for years.’
      • ‘A recent system swap between Shaw and Rogers gave Shaw control of systems in Western Canada.’
      • ‘The asset swap involves Westfield buying Stockland's Imperial Arcade for $90 million.’
      • ‘One was a controversial land swap where the city got some worthless acres and Occidental got some land which turned out to be quite rich in oil.’
      • ‘The trio asked him, he said, if he would support a land swap - the Santee site for property that L.A. Unified owns in the garment district.’
      • ‘Former prime minister Ivan Kostov has stirred up further controversy on the Brady bond swop with a letter urging his successor Simeon Saxe-Coburg to call off the deal.’
      • ‘It may fuel speculation in some parts that GMG, with its extensive media interests, could be among those to offer its radio businesses in an asset swap.’
      • ‘Deputy Governor Fauzi Bowo said he had asked the City Audit Agency to investigate the matter and gather more information about the land swap.’
      • ‘A swap of properties is effectively a disposal for tax purposes.’
      • ‘‘API swaps are only valuable in the short term,’ he says.’
      • ‘Fred, 51, a part-time taxi driver, is taking legal action after the council said he could not have a swap as he had not lived in his property for 12 months.’
    2. 1.2Finance An exchange of liabilities between two borrowers, either so that each acquires access to funds in a currency they need or so that a fixed interest rate is exchanged for a floating rate.
      • ‘Apex's strategy is to purchase long-term mortgages, leverage them, fund them in a reverse repurchase agreement market, and hedge them with interest rate swaps and U.S. Treasuries.’
      • ‘The company is best known for interest rate swaps and other municipal bond derivative transactions.’
      • ‘To hedge that risk, the company can enter into an interest-rate swap to exchange its fixed rate for a floating rate.’
      • ‘Interest rate swaps, for instance, were only introduced in the early 1980s.’
      • ‘As with caps and collars, interest rate swaps can be taken out for long periods of time - usually up to ten years.’


Middle English (originally in the sense ‘throw forcibly’): probably imitative of a resounding blow. Current senses have arisen from an early use meaning ‘strike hands as a token of agreement’.