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The swank American actor and producer Hilary Swank at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France


Perhaps from swanky, or perhaps from an Old English root, related to the Scots swank and the Middle High German swanken, modern German schwanken (to sway).



swank (comparative swanker, superlative swankest)

  1. (dated) Fashionably elegant.
    I went to a swank party last night.


swank (plural swanks)

  1. A fashionably elegant person.
    He's such a swank.
  2. Ostentation; bravado.
    The parvenu was full of swank.
    • 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald, “chapter I”, in The Great Gatsby, New York, N.Y.: Charles Scribner's Sons, OCLC 884653065:
      Not even the effeminate swank of his riding clothes could hide the enormous power of that body—he seemed to fill those glistening boots until he strained the top lacing and you could see a great pack of muscle shifting when his shoulder moved under his thin coat.
    • 1952, C[live] S[taples] Lewis, chapter 2, in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, London: Geoffrey Bles, OCLC 317928271:
      Huge waves keep coming in over the front and I have seen the boat nearly go under any number of times. All the others pretend to take no notice of this, either from swank or because Harold says one of the most cowardly things ordinary people do is to shut their eyes to Facts.


swank (third-person singular simple present swanks, present participle swanking, simple past and past participle swanked)

  1. To swagger, to show off.
    Looks like she's going to swank in, flashing her diamonds, then swank out to another party.

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