Main definitions of swash in US English:

: swash1swash2

swash1

verb

[no object]
  • 1(of water or an object in water) move with a splashing sound.

    ‘the water swashed and rippled around the car wheels’
    • ‘After a cacophonous ascent and destructive return to earth, it dies disconcertingly into reverberations of swashing seashore breakers, intertwined with disorientating echoes of still wailing guitars.’
    • ‘The first is that the crumbling dead corals swash about in the waves - not a good place for a baby coral to survive.’
    • ‘His shoes were dampened and were soaked under the freezing water which swashed around.’
    • ‘When a heavy lurch came, hot water swashed up and over, a dismal howl, and well I fancy the cook and his mate will be more careful in future!’’
    • ‘A solid surf beats against the breakwater, swashing spray on the sidewalk vendors and strolling passers-by.’
    swash, wash, break, lap
    splashing, swashing, dashing, beating, battering
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  • 2archaic (of a person) flamboyantly swagger about or wield a sword.

    ‘he swashed about self-confidently’
    • ‘Doesn't mean he cannot swash or buckle or both, but it will require additional suspension of disbelief, particularly if he has a fistfight with some muscled-up 20-year old.’
    • ‘Ferri revealed a madcap brilliance as Katherina, while Bocca's Petruchio buckled his swashes with rare comic flamboyance.’
    • ‘However, a few years on and no longer buckling a swash with his early vigour, tough battle boy Henry died of a tummy ache.’
    • ‘Likewise ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’ to distinguish from the other films in which Errol Flynn buckled swashes and stuff.’
    strut, parade, stride, roll, prance
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noun

  • 1The rush of seawater up the beach after the breaking of a wave.

    • ‘Though I could no longer see the clam, I knew it had pushed its siphon to the surface for feeding, and it occurred to me that the hydroid, by creating an eddy in the swash, might actually help the clam obtain food.’
    • ‘This is succeeded by plane-bedded sands dipping gently seaward, which are produced by the swash and backwash of the waves on the beach face.’
    1. 1.1archaic The motion or sound of water dashing or washing against something.
      splashing, swashing, dashing, beating, battering
      View synonyms

Origin

Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘make a noise like swords clashing or beating on shields’): imitative.

Pronunciation

swash

/swôSH/

Main definitions of swash in US English:

: swash1swash2

swash2

adjective

Printing
  • Denoting an ornamental written or printed character, typically a capital letter.

    ‘italic swash caps’

Origin

Late 17th century: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

swash

/swäSH/