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See also: Zwingen




From Middle High German twingen, from Old High German dwingan, from Proto-Germanic *þwinganą.[1] Cognates include Dutch dwingen, Norwegian tvinge, Swedish tvinga, Icelandic þvinga. What may be perceived as a repetition of the consonant shift (from Germanic → Old High German d → Middle High German t → modern German z) is a regular development that affected all words with Old High German dw- and tw- (compare Zwerg).


  • (file)
  • IPA(key): /ˈtsvɪŋən/, [ˈtsʋɪŋən], [ˈtsʋɪŋŋ̩]
  • Hyphenation: zwin‧gen
  • Rhymes: -ɪŋn̩


zwingen (class 3 strong, third-person singular simple present zwingt, past tense zwang, past participle gezwungen, past subjunctive zwänge, auxiliary haben)

  1. (transitive or reflexive) to force; to compel; to make (someone do something)
    • 1908, Walther Kabel, Das Tagebuch eines Irren, in: Bibliothek der Unterhaltung und des Wissens, vol. 9, Union Deutsche Verlagsgesellschaft, p. 132:
      Nur mit Aufbietung seiner ganzen Energie zwang er sich zur Ruhe.
      Only with the mobilization of all his energy he forced himself to calmness.
  2. (intransitive, with "zu ...") to necessitate; to call for


Related termsEdit


  1. ^ Kluge, Friedrich (1989), “zwingen”, in Elmar Seebold, editor, Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache [Etymological dictionary of the German language] (in German), 22nd edition, →ISBN

Further readingEdit