Last modified on 17 December 2014, at 11:42




A frequentative form of swag (to sway), first attested in 1590, in A Midsummer Night's Dream III.i.79:[1]

  • PUCK: What hempen homespuns have we swaggering here?



swagger (third-person singular simple present swaggers, present participle swaggering, simple past and past participle swaggered)

  1. To walk with a swaying motion; hence, to walk and act in a pompous, consequential manner.
    • Beaconsfield
      a man who swaggers about London clubs
  2. To boast or brag noisily; to be ostentatiously proud or vainglorious; to bluster; to bully.
    • Collier
      To be great is not [] to swagger at our footmen.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Jonathan Swift to this entry?)

Derived terms



swagger (plural swaggers)

  1. confidence, pride
    • 2012 April 9, Mandeep Sanghera, “Tottenham 1 - 2 Norwich”, BBC Sport:
      After spending so much of the season looking upwards, the swashbuckling style and swagger of early season Spurs was replaced by uncertainty and frustration against a Norwich side who had the quality and verve to take advantage
  2. A bold, or arrogant strut.
  3. A prideful boasting or bragging.


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  1. ^ swagger” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).