swinge +‎ -ing. Swinge is derived from Middle English swengen (to strike), from Old English swengan (to dash, strike; to cause to swing).



swingeing (comparative more swingeing, superlative most swingeing)

  1. (chiefly Britain) Huge, immense.
    Synonyms: whopping; see also Thesaurus:gigantic
    • 1716, W[illiam] M[offat], Hesperi-neso-graphia: Or, A Description of the Western Isle. In Eight Canto’s, 4th edition, London: Printed and sold by J. Baker, at the Black-Boy in Pater-Noster-Row, OCLC 54152542, canto II, page 7:
      And when Occaſion did require, / In midſt of Houſe a mighty Fire, / Of black dry'd Earth and ſwingeing Blocks / Was made, enough to roaſt an Ox; []
    • 1855, William Harrison Ainsworth, “Abel’s Interview with the Miser—Unexpected Appearance of Randulph and Cordwell Firebras—Result of the Meeting”, in The Miser’s Daughter: A Tale, London; New York, N.Y.: G[eorge] Routledge & Co., Farringdon Street; New York, 18, Beekman Street, OCLC 643588782, page 123:
      "Let him pursue his own course," said Diggs, taking up a pen, and making some hasty memoranda on a sheet of paper. "We shall have swingeing damages—swingeing damages."
    • 1962 December, “Beyond the Channel: European timetables: The winter train services”, in Modern Railways, page 413:
      A shock for passengers by the Dover-Dunkerque "Night Ferry" is the swingeing increases in berth rates for those who are not travelling in the sleeping cars.
    • 2017 March 27, “The Observer view on triggering article 50: As Britain hurtles towards the precipice, truth and democracy are in short supply”, in The Observer[1], London, archived from the original on 17 May 2017:
      Every day produces more evidence that this hard Tory Brexit is a disaster in the making. Carmakers and other export manufacturers, fearing swingeing tariffs, are demanding special protections and exemptions or else they leave.
  2. Heavy, powerful, scathing.
    a swingeing verbal attack
    • 1869, Samuel W[hite] Baker, chapter IV, in Cast Up by the Sea, London: Macmillan and Co., OCLC 557933199, pages 80–81:
      Steven's cold blood was now heated, and springing from the ground, he rushed forward utterly regardless of science, and with his head down, protected by his bended arm, he closed with a swingeing right-handed hit that unfortunately caught Ned upon the ear, and sent him reeling, and for the instant half stunned, upon one side.
    • 1987, John Baglow, “Uncouth Dilemmas”, in Hugh MacDiarmid: The Poetry of Self, Kingston, Ont.; Montreal, Que.: McGill-Queen's University Press, →ISBN, page 64:
      With the publication of Drunk Man [A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle (1926)] [Hugh] MacDiarmid revealed that he had developed from an accomplished and sometimes brilliant miniaturist into a major poet. The poem represents the high-water mark of his work in Scots and probably of his writing as a whole. Maturity of utterance and sophistication of expression combine in a swingeing, energetic exploration of his situation which he never surpassed.
    • 2012 June 16, James Astill, “Special Report: The Melting North”, in The Economist[2], archived from the original on 20 January 2017, page 4:
      Perhaps not since the felling of America's vast forests in the 19th century, [] has the world seen such a spectacular environmental change. The consequences for Arctic ecosystems will be swingeing.
    • 2022 February 28, Patrick Wintour, the Guardian[3], Guardian Media Group, retrieved 2022-02-28:
      Switzerland, a bastion of neutrality through two world wars, has decided to adopt wholesale swingeing EU sanctions against the Russian central bank, freezing as much as billions of dollars in assets and massively increasing the pressure on the Russian economy.

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

  • swinge
  • swinger (one who swinges; anything very large, forcible, or astonishing) (obsolete, slang)



  1. (archaic) present participle of swinge.