What does swear mean?

Definitions for swear

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word swear.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. curse, cuss, blaspheme, swear, imprecateverb

    utter obscenities or profanities

    "The drunken men were cursing loudly in the street"

  2. affirm, verify, assert, avow, aver, swan, swearverb

    to declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true

    "Before God I swear I am innocent"

  3. swearverb

    promise solemnly; take an oath

  4. swear, depose, deponeverb

    make a deposition; declare under oath

  5. trust, swear, rely, bankverb

    have confidence or faith in

    "We can trust in God"; "Rely on your friends"; "bank on your good education"; "I swear by my grandmother's recipes"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Swearverb

    Moses took the bones of Joseph; for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel. Ex. xiii. 19.

    Swom ashore, man, like a duck; I can swim like a duck, I’ll be sworn. William Shakespeare, Tempest.

    Let me swear you all to secrecy;
    And, to conceal my shame, conceal my life. Dryden.

    Now by Apollo, king, thou swear’st thy gods in vain.
    ———— O vassal! miscreant! William Shakespeare.

  2. To SWEARverb

    preter. swore or sware; part. pass. sworn.

    Etymology: swaran, Gothick; swerian , Saxon; sweeren, Dutch.

    If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond, he shall not break his word. Num.

    Thee, thee an hundred languages shall claim,
    And savage Indians swear by Anna’s name. Thomas Tickell.

    We shall have old swearing
    That they did give the rings away to men;
    But we’ll outface them, and outswear them too. William Shakespeare.

    I gave my love a ring, and made him swear
    Never to part with it; and here he stands,
    I dare be sworn for him, he would not leave it,
    Nor pluck it from his finger. William Shakespeare.

    I would have kept my word;
    But, when I swear, it is irrevocable. William Shakespeare, Henry VI.

    Jacob said, swear to me; and he sware unto him. Gen.

    Bacchus taken at Rhodes by Demetrius Poliorcetes, which he so esteemed, that, as Plutarch reports, he sware he had rather lose all his father’s images than that table. Henry Peacham.

    At what ease
    Might corrupt minds procure knaves as corrupt
    To swear against you? William Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

    Because of swearing the land mourneth. Jer. xxiii. 10.

    Obey thy parents, keep thy word justly;
    Swear not. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    None so nearly disposed to scoffing at religion as those who have accustomed themselves to swear on trifling occasions. John Tillotson.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Swearverb

    to affirm or utter a solemn declaration, with an appeal to God for the truth of what is affirmed; to make a promise, threat, or resolve on oath; also, to affirm solemnly by some sacred object, or one regarded as sacred, as the Bible, the Koran, etc

  2. Swearverb

    to give evidence on oath; as, to swear to the truth of a statement; he swore against the prisoner

  3. Swearverb

    to make an appeal to God in an irreverant manner; to use the name of God or sacred things profanely; to call upon God in imprecation; to curse

  4. Swearverb

    to utter or affirm with a solemn appeal to God for the truth of the declaration; to make (a promise, threat, or resolve) under oath

  5. Swearverb

    to put to an oath; to cause to take an oath; to administer an oath to; -- ofetn followed by in or into; as, to swear witnesses; to swear a jury; to swear in an officer; he was sworn into office

  6. Swearverb

    to declare or charge upon oath; as, he swore treason against his friend

  7. Swearverb

    to appeal to by an oath

  8. Etymology: [OE. swerien, AS. swerian; akin to D. zweren, OS. swerian, OHG. swerien, G. schwren, Icel. sverja, Sw. svrja, Dan. svaerge, Icel. & Sw. svara to answer, Dan. svare, Dan. & Sw. svar an answer, Goth. swaran to swear, and perhaps to E. swarm. 177. Cf. Answer.]


  1. Swear

    "Swear" was a 1980s pop song by Tim Scott McConnell and released by Sire Records in 1983. The music video to promote the song was a campy/tongue-in-cheek music video of a hippy-based pagan/black mass set in a church. The stylized music video is seemingly a parody of late 1960s to early 1970s hippy horror movies. A bio [link below] from the Tim Scott website states with respect to the "Swear" song that: "This was my young and confused record...I wrote the songs over a couple of weeks on a little Casio keyboard...Sire heard it and offered me a deal...no use appologising for such a thing...my mistake... the good part of it was working with Richard Gottehrer ...really took me under his wing...shame we were working on the wrong kind of music.." "Swear" was covered by Sheena Easton for her 1984 album A Private Heaven. It reached #80 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart the following year.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Swear

    swār, v.i. to affirm, calling God to witness: to give evidence on oath: to utter the name of God or of sacred things profanely.—v.t. to utter, calling God to witness: to administer an oath to: to declare on oath:—pa.t. swōre; pa.p. sworn.—n. Swear′er.—Swear at, to aim profanity at: to be very incongruous with, esp. in colour; Swear by, to put complete confidence in; Swear in, to inaugurate by oath; Swear off, to renounce, promise to give up. [A.S. swerian; Dut. zweren, Ger. schwören.]

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'swear' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2970

  2. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'swear' in Verbs Frequency: #661

Anagrams for swear »

  1. sawer

  2. sware

  3. seraw

  4. resaw

  5. warse

How to pronounce swear?

How to say swear in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of swear in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of swear in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of swear in a Sentence

  1. Frank Jordan:

    You're a good man, I swear. You did what you are supposed to do, and I sure do appreciate it, and I know my son appreciates it.

  2. Emperor Naruhito:

    I hereby proclaim my enthronement to those at home and abroad, i hereby swear that I will act according to the constitution and fulfill my responsibility as the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people of Japan, while always praying for the happiness of the people and the peace of the world as I stand with the people.

  3. Marilyn Monroes:

    The highlight of my life was singing for the soldiers there, i stood out on an open stage, and it was cold, but I swear I didn't feel a thing except good.

  4. Jonathan Swift:

    A footman may swear; but he cannot swear like a lord. He can swear as often: but can he swear with equal delicacy, propriety, and judgment?

  5. Mark Twain:

    There ought to be a room in every house to swear in.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for swear

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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    cause to spread or flush or flood through, over, or across
    • A. fluster
    • B. suffuse
    • C. excogitate
    • D. descant

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