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

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.
  2. To go out of a straight line; to deflect.
  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.
    • (Can we date this quote by Book of Common Prayer and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      I swerve not from thy commandments.
    • 1702-1704, Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, The History of the Rebellion
      They swerve from the strict letter of the law.
    • (Can we date this quote by Atterbury and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      many who, through the contagion of evil example, swerve exceedingly from the rules of their holy religion
  4. To bend; to incline.
  5. To climb or move upward by winding or turning.
    • c. 1692, John Dryden, Amaryllis
      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

TranslationsEdit

AnagramsEdit


Middle EnglishEdit

VerbEdit

swerve

  1. Alternative form of swerven