Definition of swig in English:



[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • Drink in large gulps.

    ‘Dave swigged the wine in five gulps’
    [no object] ‘old men swigged from bottles of plum brandy’
    • ‘The last we saw of him he was pictured swigging beer on a yacht in Marbella.’
    • ‘Band members had to photograph one another swigging the bright orange drink.’
    • ‘Dressed in regulation New York black, the opening crowd is much too busy swigging its wine and talking to its friends to listen or watch.’
    • ‘At the end of a hard day, a rescue worker picked up a near-empty gin bottle and swigged the remainder.’
    • ‘We all went to swim before lunch, rather necessary after swigging Martinis.’
    • ‘A chemist who swigged vodka at work was let off with a reprimand after she cleaned up her act.’
    • ‘He rolled his eyes as he swallowed and swigged the dregs of his espresso.’
    • ‘When the friend arrives, he is handed the second Coke and starts swigging it with no clue where it had been.’
    • ‘Teenagers sit swigging beer at roadblocks, ready to kill anyone who doesn't have the right papers.’
    • ‘We swigged cheap champagne from a shared bottle and fought running snowball battles with the neighbourhood kids.’
    • ‘She had to be in control, even if it meant artificially reining in her wild emotions by swigging a few drinks.’
    • ‘It's always best to drink bubbly from a glass rather than swigging it directly from the bottle.’
    • ‘My brother Bruce and I were standing on the rear patio of my father's house, swigging beers as my dad was readying steaks for the grill.’
    • ‘I travelled in reading a report for the first of two meetings today, swigging copious amounts of fizzy mineral water and nursing a large hangover.’
    • ‘Normally, she didn't drink rum straight, but popping the top, she swigged half the contents of the bottle in one go.’
    • ‘He laughed, before swigging the contents down.’
    • ‘We sit swigging the wine with which we are liberally provided, then we disperse.’
    • ‘Sylvia, who'd bought a bottle of wine, carried the dog under one arm while she swigged vino with her other.’
    • ‘In this diary, the heroine is more likely to spend her days loading cartloads of hay and selling cattle rather than counting calories and swigging Chardonnay.’
    • ‘I swear she swigged the stuff from a flask in her purse.’
    drink, swallow, guzzle, slurp, attack, down, drink down, drink up, force down, get down, finish off, polish off, drain, empty, imbibe, have, take, partake of, ingest, consume, sup, sip, lap
    View synonyms


  • A large draft of drink.

    ‘he took a swig of tea’
    • ‘She regretted not taking a swig of orange juice with the banana, not remembering to drink that half glass of instant tea.’
    • ‘Soon the guard took his water canteen out of his belt, took a swig, and dropped to the floor, never to wake again.’
    • ‘I pulled the bottle out from under the cushion and took a swig of the liquor in it.’
    • ‘His partner took a long swig, either ignoring his friend or too drunk to care.’
    • ‘At 250 calories a swig, it was the perfect drink for ski troopers in off the mountains.’
    • ‘Wesley coughed and swallowed a long swig of his ale while Pearl tried to explain her complicated situation.’
    • ‘The sweetness gets too much after more than a couple of swigs, and after a while it starts to produce a build-up of gas which eventually squirts right up your nose.’
    • ‘I lay on the rooftop eating a sandwich hungrily and washing it down with a swig of whiskey.’
    • ‘Taking a big swig from her emergency bottle of glucose drink, she kicked the door down, and entered the studio.’
    • ‘Leaning against the side of the wall, he took a swig of his drink.’
    • ‘From the pocket of his khaki jacket, he picked a small liquor bottle and took a swig.’
    • ‘They remain silent until their drinks arrive and they take a couple bracing swigs.’
    • ‘I pulled a beer out of the brown bag I was carrying and took a few swigs to settle my nerves.’
    • ‘Marie pulled the cigarette out of her mouth and took a swig of her drink, until only half of it remained.’
    • ‘She swallowed them with a swig of water, and asked if she could go to bed.’
    • ‘I laughed, watching them take a bite of their muffins and then drinking a swig of pop at almost the same time.’
    • ‘He wipes the drool, takes a swig of beer and takes a quick run through the Internet to keep from falling asleep.’
    • ‘‘Humans are mindless,’ Mya grunted, drinking half of the bottle in three swigs.’
    • ‘In other words, when the men get tired of the women spending long hours agonising over jewellery, they can just step next door for a swig.’
    • ‘When Liz came back with a tray the old lady seized her cup and took a long swig of hot tea.’


Mid 16th century (as a noun in the obsolete sense liquor): of unknown origin.