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EnglishEdit

 
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Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English swerven, swarven, from Old English sweorfan (to file; rub; polish; scour; turn aside), from Proto-Germanic *swerbaną (to rub off; wipe; mop), from Proto-Indo-European *swerbʰ- (to turn; wipe; sweep). Cognate with West Frisian swerve (to wander; roam; swerve), Dutch zwerven (to wander; stray; roam), Low German swarven (to swerve; wander; riot), Swedish dialectal svärva (to wipe), Icelandic sverfa (to file).

PronunciationEdit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /swɜː(ɹ)v/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɜː(r)v

VerbEdit

swerve (third-person singular simple present swerves, present participle swerving, simple past and past participle swerved)

  1. (archaic) To stray; to wander; to rove.
    • Sir Philip Sidney
      A maid thitherward did run, / To catch her sparrow which from her did swerve.
  2. To go out of a straight line; to deflect.
    • Sir Philip Sidney
      The point [of the sword] swerved.
  3. To wander from any line prescribed, or from a rule or duty; to depart from what is established by law, duty, custom, or the like; to deviate.
    • Book of Common Prayer
      I swerve not from thy commandments.
    • Clarendon
      They swerve from the strict letter of the law.
    • Atterbury
      many who, through the contagion of evil example, swerve exceedingly from the rules of their holy religion
  4. To bend; to incline.
    • Milton
      The battle swerved.
  5. To climb or move upward by winding or turning.
    • Dryden
      The tree was high; / Yet nimbly up from bough to bough I swerved.
  6. To turn aside or deviate to avoid impact.
  7. Of a projectile, to travel in a curved line
    • 2011 January 8, Chris Bevan, “Arsenal 1 - 1 Leeds”, in BBC[1]:
      Snodgrass also saw a free-kick swerve just wide before Arsenal, with Walcott and Fabregas by now off the bench, turned their vastly superior possession into chances in the closing moments
  8. To drive in the trajectory of another vehicle to stop it, to cut off. (Can we add an example for this sense?)

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

NounEdit

swerve (plural swerves)

  1. A sudden movement out of a straight line, for example to avoid a collision.
    • 1990, American Motorcyclist (volume 44, number 7, page 11)
      The distinction between using a skill subconsciously and employing it in the full knowledge of what was happening made a dramatic difference. I could execute a swerve to avoid an obstacle in a fraction of the time it previously took.
  2. A deviation from duty or custom.
    • 1874, William Edwin Boardman, Faith-work, Or the Labours of Dr. Cullis, in Boston (page 56)
      [] indubitable evidence of a swerve from the principle of the work.

Derived termsEdit

AnagramsEdit


Middle EnglishEdit

VerbEdit

swerve

  1. Alternative form of swerven