swinge +‎ -ing. Swinge is derived from Middle English swenge (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.

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

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



  1. (archaic) present participle of swinge.