Meaning of swing in English:


Pronunciation /swɪŋ/

See synonyms for swing

Translate swing into Spanish

verbverb swings, verb swinging, swung/swʌŋ/

  • 1Move or cause to move back and forth or from side to side while suspended or on an axis.

    no object ‘her long black skirt swung about her legs’
    • ‘the door swung shut behind him’
    • ‘a priest began swinging a censer’
    • ‘The heavy black oak door swung to behind me with a muffled moan of protesting hinges.’
    • ‘I could see the shed in the distance, and I watched in horror as the door began to swing shut.’
    • ‘The litter was carried through the entrance, and the door was swung shut behind them.’
    • ‘When the door had swung shut behind him, he came to a halt and looked around.’
    • ‘I yelled, but he was gone, the doors swinging shut behind him.’
    • ‘Her hand dropped to the side, swinging back and forth.’
    • ‘The side closest the rope swung freely back and forth, held only by a rope that connected the bridge to the thick tree branch above.’
    • ‘Drawing closer, she noticed with a growing sense of dread the open doors, swinging back and forth in the gusts of bitter wind.’
    • ‘She walked with her toes pointed in so that her skirt would swing from side to side like a bell and smiled coquettishly.’
    • ‘She sighed and put her hands behind her back and swung back in forth in boredom while she waited for the two to finish up what they were doing.’
    • ‘She tickled Elissa's cheek with her finger and sashayed away, her silky black hair swinging from side to side.’
    • ‘The cupboard door swung shut and Paula poured coffee into the mug she'd selected him.’
    • ‘As the doors swing open, people begin streaming in.’
    • ‘After them, the great doors swung shut and horns sounded.’
    • ‘Her brown hair was sharply cut off below her chin and swung freely around matching brown eyes encircled by tanned skin.’
    • ‘She sat on a branch, leaning her head against the trunk and laughing, her legs swinging lazily below her.’
    • ‘Esther Johnson shook her head, gold earrings swinging against her skin.’
    • ‘The male pulled a chair closer to my bedside and hung the lamp from a hook above the bed, the shadows oscillating as it swung gently.’
    • ‘A dozen sixth-years poured out from the far end, their lanterns swinging haphazardly from their jarring gait.’
    • ‘She glanced over at the hammock swinging in the wind and sat down in it, rocking slightly.’
    sway, oscillate, move back and forth, move to and fro, wave, wag, dangle, rock, flutter, flap, vibrate, quiver
    brandish, wave, flourish, wield, raise, shake, wag, twirl
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 informal no object Be executed by hanging.
      • ‘now he was going to swing for it’
      • ‘It wasn't a hanging offence but he swung for it anyway.’
      • ‘Nobody should get away with planting a bomb in a public place without swinging for it.’
      • ‘He will swing for it next week, unless a petition for his life takes effect.’
    2. 1.2with object Turn (a ship or aircraft) to all compass points in succession, in order to test compass error.
      ‘Before the ship puts to sea, it is swung through the complete circle from 0° to 360°.’
      • ‘The Compass Engineer will swing the ship through the major compass points and determine the deviation on each point.’
      • ‘Much importance is also attached to the swinging of ships in dock before going to sea.’
  • 2no object, with adverbial of direction Move by grasping a support from below and leaping.

    ‘we swung across like two trapeze artists’
    • ‘the Irishman swung himself into the saddle’
    • ‘He tied a rope to a limb and would swing out, leap into the air and land, usually, on his feet.’
    • ‘Gripping the supports, I swung out above the water, the air heavy and damp, the sky grey.’
    • ‘Others never quite take the leap, unable to climb the ladder and unwilling to swing off the trapeze platform.’
    • ‘He swung into the saddle on the first try, waved at some of the drovers, and headed back to camp.’
    • ‘He swung himself out of bed and dressed hastily.’
    • ‘Gwen checked the girth, pulled down the stirrups and quickly swung into the saddle.’
    • ‘Pulling his last pistol from his belt, he grabbed a line to swing himself over.’
    • ‘He trudged on up and snagging the reins to his horse, swung in one smooth motion into the saddle.’
    • ‘Tom leaned away from the sign, sauntered back to his truck and swung up into the cab.’
    1. 2.1Move quickly round to the opposite direction.
      ‘Ronni had swung round to face him’
      • ‘I push the tiller across and as the boat swings round I stand up and move across the boat.’
      • ‘On the final approach to the climb the road turns sharply back on itself and, just when I need it most, the wind which has been in my face all day swings round to assist me.’
      • ‘The thought causes Julia to grimace for a moment until a figure swings round in front of her.’
      • ‘An officer grabbed him and as he swung round, his arm connected with the officer's jaw, she said.’
      • ‘I swung around quickly to see Trent riding by with the windows down and stereo blasting.’
      • ‘Dan swung round on his chair so quickly he almost fell off.’
      • ‘She jumped, shrieking as she quickly swung around to face her addresser.’
    2. 2.2Move with a rhythmic swaying gait.
      ‘the riflemen swung along smartly’
      • ‘If your gait swings so that your feet are pointed outward or inward, you may end up with the duck or the pigeon-toed walking styles.’
      • ‘Cath got to school at around seven thirty and swung along to the main office.’
      • ‘He whistled and hummed old tunes as he swung along.’
      stride, march, sweep
      View synonyms
  • 3with adverbial of direction Move or cause to move in a smooth, curving line.

    with object ‘she swung her legs to the side of the bed’
    • ‘the cab swung into the car park’
    • ‘She carefully walked her bike over to the starting line and swung her leg so she was straddling the bike.’
    • ‘He recoiled revealing another who swung his gun into line with me.’
    • ‘I unzip my bag, swing my legs and feet to the floor, and dress.’
    • ‘Wearily, Ryan unzipped his sleeping bag and swung his legs over the edge of the bed.’
    • ‘The attacker swung the bag and stick at Mr Bright, who raised his arm in defence.’
    • ‘He grabbed the bag up quickly and swung his leg out the window.’
    • ‘I lift the jacket off the hook, and with one smooth motion swing it over my shoulders and push my arms through the sleeves.’
    • ‘I swing my bag onto my arm and move off towards the front gate to catch my bus.’
    • ‘She swung the bags over her back, making to leave, then she stopped and turned back, remembering to get Gabriel's gift to her.’
    • ‘In her haste, Hailey had carelessly swung the bag into her vanity table, sending its various contents flying this way and that.’
    • ‘Rayenne packed up her books, and swung her bag over one shoulder.’
    • ‘I swung my bag off the balcony and slowly calmed down, trying not to breath in the scent of the flowers.’
    • ‘She swung the bag lightly onto the floor and unzipped it and took out the note.’
    • ‘There was an altercation between pedestrians and the occupants of the car before it swung round the roundabout and hit him.’
    • ‘I swing round a corner and spot what I think is a duck pond at the end of the street.’
    • ‘Before the war, he used to be seen jumping from the local bus as it swung round the corner near his home.’
    • ‘The van swings sharply round a corner and stops in front of a large cream coloured prefabricated building.’
    • ‘Scratching himself, he swung round his flannel pajama clad legs and planted them onto the floor.’
    • ‘Sam quickly swung into the driveway and cut the engine and the lights, his eyes never leaving the rear view mirror.’
    • ‘I swung my swim bag over my shoulder and headed out after Mark and Anna.’
    1. 3.1with object Bring down (something held) with a curving movement, typically in order to hit an object.
      ‘I swung the club and missed the ball’
      • ‘But then, instead of swinging the club back, simply bring it to the halfway position I've described.’
      • ‘In one fluid motion Carlotta swung the torch and clubbed Don Antonio as hard as she could over the head.’
      • ‘He first suggested he might skip the Masters in January, when his lower back caused problems swinging the club.’
      • ‘Often these causes are things you may do before you actually swinging the club, like an incorrect grip and bad posture.’
      • ‘Considering that you can also shift your body weight when you swing your clubs, the options to pick a distinctive tee shot are almost infinite.’
      • ‘I've played off and on since my 3 and a half years in Canada, but haven't swung a club for probably 5 years now.’
      • ‘The more athletic your set-up then the less chance you have of putting strain on your back when you swing the club.’
      • ‘I swung my stick and brought it across my body and made contact with the player's stick and the puck.’
      • ‘Another guard, almost fully restored, swung his club at Will, who merely ducked, turned, and stood up.’
      • ‘Alexander jumped over the club and swung his sword down as he fell down.’
      • ‘To make solid contact, Bob had to turn his left shoulder more horizontally, swinging the club more around his body than up and down.’
      • ‘He told me it felt like a weight had been taken off his shoulders and he could actually go and swing the club and enjoy practicing again.’
      • ‘‘I played awful golf on the front nine and have not swung the club as badly for a very long time,’ he admitted.’
      • ‘He swung his club in frustration and hit a spectator's knee.’
      • ‘Paul now plays using the word rhythm as his only thought when swinging the club, which is fantastic.’
      • ‘You want to handle it, try a few casts with it, in the way that a golfer wants to swing a new club or a cricketer feels the weight of a bat.’
      • ‘It was too late to stop and as my racket was brought down, John swung his racket face up under the high speed shot.’
      • ‘See the target, swing the club and wait for the applause.’
      • ‘He looked at my stiff posture and how I held and swung the club.’
      • ‘Adopt a similar kind of consistent motion before swinging the club.’
    2. 3.2swing atno object Attempt to hit or punch, typically with a wide curving movement of the arm.
      ‘he swung at me with the tyre wrench’
      • ‘The leader swung at him, but Jack stepped around the punch and jammed the knife in the man's spine.’
      • ‘He ducked as she swung at him then lunged upward, throwing a hard punch at her jaw.’
      • ‘She grumbled, swinging at him, knowing well that he would catch her punch before it even came close to landing.’
      • ‘The publican told the court that he did grab Mrs O'Leary when she tried to hit him, stating he caught her by her wrists when she swung at him.’
      • ‘And she swung at me again, missed, and smacked herself in the nose.’
      • ‘The jury heard he had told police on April 16, 2001, that Price swung at him and missed before the pair had a struggle.’
      • ‘‘I ran out at him, stood up on the wall and swung at him to thump him,’ said Mr Delker.’
      • ‘The man, missing him, swung at him again, this time just making contact with his waist, causing a very minor injury.’
      • ‘About the earlier incident, he claimed that she swung at him and fell accidentally when he had put his hand up to defend himself.’
      • ‘He turned to see a man jogging, but when he tried to cross the road the jogger swung at him with a blunt instrument.’
      • ‘He missed, then swung at him again and hit his waist, but it did not cause any injury.’
      • ‘The best case scenario of swinging at a cop is you miss while his head is turned and he doesn't see it.’
    3. 3.3Deliver (a punch) with a wide curving movement of the arm.
      ‘she swung a punch at him’
      • ‘I mean, perhaps the prisoner had himself swung a punch around the corner where you couldn't see it.’
      • ‘He swung a punch at her face causing her to fall and then grabbed her by the coat, dragging her along and spitting at her.’
      • ‘The teenager said he was only acting in self-defence when the youth swung a punch at him.’
      • ‘Not sure I believe him, but clearly nobody is expecting me to swing a punch.’
      • ‘Price gave evidence that Mr Parsons became aggressive and swung a punch at him and all he did afterwards was try to defend himself.’
      • ‘He said the man stood up, confronted Crook and swung a punch at his client, and a scuffle started.’
      • ‘Elisa swung a punch at his shoulder, and he didn't bother dodging.’
      • ‘He swung a punch at him but Aidan dodged and pushed him to the ground.’
      • ‘I sat up, startled, as if someone had come and swung a punch into my stomach.’
      • ‘I swung a punch at her but she grabbed my fist and kicked me in the side where I had been stabbed.’
      • ‘Daniel swung a punch at Jay, who only blocked it, even though it hurt when it hit his arm.’
      • ‘He swung a final punch at another officer but he was too weak to cause any real severe injuries to him.’
      • ‘He was getting up, and was just about to swing a punch at her.’
      • ‘Are you so proud that you could swing a few punches in a bar full of drunkards?’
      • ‘Kira turned on heel and toe, swinging a tremendous blow and striking the other man square in the back.’
      • ‘Marcus swung a vicious blow at Richard's head that would have knocked him out if he hadn't quickly ducked.’
      • ‘He called out with war cries as he swung deadly blows to all who came near him.’
      • ‘She swung a powerful blow to the side, stumbling from its momentum.’
      • ‘Teera raised her face to him and then swung a full blow with both hands at him, striking him in the jaw and sending him sprawling.’
      • ‘Twisting, jumping, ducking; each time he moved he swung a new blow.’
    4. 3.4Cricket with object (of a bowler) make a delivery of (a ball) deviate sideways from a regular course in the air.
      ‘Sure enough, Bangladesh were soon in trouble as Sri Lanka's fast bowlers swung the new ball, grabbing three quick wickets after the tea interval.’
      • ‘In the one day arena, few bowlers swing the ball away from the right-hander for fear of bowling wides.’
      • ‘He was a dangerous bowler who could swing the ball both ways and in 21 Test matches took 78 wickets costing 27.13 per wicket.’
      • ‘And in the early part of his career before his back trouble, Botham was a genuine strike bowler who could swing the ball both ways.’
      • ‘He can swing the ball late and is nippy enough to worry batsmen on a track that has pace and bounce.’
      • ‘He swings the ball enough to trouble batsmen, but not enough to be a force when the pitch is slow and the ball is holding up.’
      • ‘Nehra is one bowler who has the ability to swing the ball both ways and to have sacrificed him to play an extra batsman was a big mistake.’
      • ‘He bowled very fast and swung the ball even on this pitch.’
      • ‘McGrath is swinging the ball into the right-handers and causing them a great deal of trouble.’
      • ‘It doesn't allow him to prodigiously swing the ball but it allows him to land the ball on the seam time and time again.’
      • ‘Martin does not struggle to swing the ball but often battles to maintain a demanding line.’
      • ‘Kirtley was the most dangerous, swinging the ball considerably, and forcing the batsmen to play.’
      • ‘Hall brings to the side a rare commodity in South African cricket - an ability to swing the ball away from the right-handed batsman.’
      • ‘A left-arm paceman operating over the wicket is expected to angle or swing the ball across the right-hander.’
      • ‘In this series the pressure has been put on the Aussies by bowlers continuing to improve on their ability to swing the ball.’
      • ‘The new ball bowlers cannot, it seems, swing the ball; the slow bowlers can hardly spin it.’
      • ‘Driver, however, stemmed the early onslaught with three cheap wickets and kept nagging away, swinging the ball both ways.’
      • ‘In fact I'd go so far as to say that one of the reasons Lee looks so good at the moment is becuase he's consistantly swinging the ball and doing it at serious pace.’
      • ‘We've noticed he's been swinging the ball away from the bat quite a lot all the time.’
      • ‘His pace, coupled with the ability to swing the ball, make it difficult to play against him.’
    5. 3.5Cricket no object (of a delivery) deviate sideways from a regular course.
      ‘The ball will swing for most of the innings, in fact prodigiously in the first few overs.’
      • ‘By the time it was our turn to field, the conditions were more favourable for bowling, the ball was swinging and Botham took a couple of wonderful catches.’
      • ‘One ball swung away in the air and was at least a couple of feet outside Viswanath's off stump before it started curling in.’
      • ‘India started off very slowly, mainly because the ball was swinging and seaming around on a damp pitch early in the morning.’
      • ‘The ball swung for most of the England innings, making life far from straightforward, but few players seemed prepared to graft it out.’
      • ‘The ball did not swing, as it had done in the Trent Bridge Test, and he could have done with more pace and bounce in this pitch.’
      • ‘Whenever, they bowled the ball was swinging around every corner.’
      • ‘The pitch had spent two days under the covers, but the conditions did not phase the Australia openers as they left balls that were swinging wildly.’
      • ‘In most cases, it was the balls that swung in to the right-handed batsmen that did the damage and there isn't a better exponent of that delivery than Vaas.’
      • ‘The Pakistani batsmen are in a habit of playing at balls swinging away from the body.’
      • ‘Barring any major lbw- or bouncer-rule changes, there is one option: changing the composition of cricket balls so they swing or bounce or spin more.’
      • ‘Yovich was next to go, bowled for four by a beauty that clipped the top of off stump as it swung away from him.’
      • ‘When we play on a wicket and the ball swings around we have bowlers and batsmen who can cope with that.’
      • ‘I was getting the ball to swing in to him at high speed, and had a couple of good lbw shouts.’
  • 4Shift or cause to shift from one opinion, mood, or state of affairs to another.

    no object ‘opinion swung in the Chancellor's favour’
    • ‘the failure to seek peace could swing sentiment the other way’
    • ‘As opinion has swung against them, so society's attitude to fatherhood has also begun to change.’
    • ‘But public opinion has swung against off-roading, and the police are now actively seeking solutions.’
    • ‘As a genius, his thoughts and opinions don't have to be consistent because they swing with whatever mood he happens to be in.’
    • ‘A shift to a looser relationship is one that is set to move up the agenda if Britain is forced to give up its budget rebate and public opinion swings further against the EU.’
    • ‘It was a slow-moving process but, by the end of the decade, the balance of public opinion had swung in favour of the tenants.’
    • ‘Yet journalists today, more than ever before, have the power to swing public opinion and thereby change the course of conflicts with their writing.’
    • ‘During the Civil War, he lectured in England and helped swing public opinion against the South.’
    • ‘Public opinion swung strongly in favour of the women strikers.’
    • ‘This balance of opinion swung back after the launch of the single market programme in the mid-1980s.’
    • ‘He was taken to Hull Royal Infirmary where his mood swung erratically.’
    • ‘You are likely to be surrounded by people who swing from one mood to another and act with false perceptions.’
    • ‘After a miserable couple of years where his mood has swung from depressed to suicidal, he is starting to feel more like his old self.’
    • ‘Within seconds, my mood had swung from joy to misery.’
    • ‘The silence had been broken, the mood had swung, the atmosphere had altered.’
    • ‘It was only after the executions of the leaders that opinion began to swing in their favour.’
    • ‘That ratio represents what amounts to an emotional set point, the mean around which our daily moods swing.’
    • ‘He escaped execution when political opinion swung against the shootings of May 1916.’
    • ‘The pendulum of public opinion swings from one side to another.’
    • ‘Liberals also could swing either way with their opinions.’
    • ‘It's worth remembering how quickly public opinion can swing in the opposite direction once war begins.’
    change, fluctuate, oscillate, waver, alternate, see-saw, yo-yo, vary, shift, alter, undulate, ebb and flow, rise and fall, go up and down, go back and forth
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1with object Have a decisive influence on (something, especially a vote or election)
      ‘an attempt to swing the vote in their favour’
      • ‘This volatile issue was used to mobilize voters and swing elections at all levels.’
      • ‘Today cognitive scientists pre-test messages and images with focus groups comprising types of voters who might swing an election.’
      • ‘Only thirty students from the state school are registered to vote, so it isn't likely to swing the election.’
      • ‘The only real question at this point is if they have been successful in rigging enough voting machines to swing this election if it's close enough.’
      • ‘With the election so finely balanced, deceased early voters could yet swing the election, without the arduous duty of having to stick around for the legal disputes.’
      • ‘Can politics at the margin hold the balance in a decision on foreign policy, as it can sometimes swing an election?’
      • ‘But she also raises health and education as major election issues that could yet swing her vote.’
      • ‘I can think of several social issues where you can swing some electoral votes away from the party.’
      • ‘That said, organizers don't need 20 million to swing the election he adds.’
      • ‘And he thinks parochial issues such as veterans' benefits won't swing the election.’
      • ‘Then there is the issue of whether a small mobilization advantage can be enough to swing the presidential election.’
      • ‘She does seem to feel as if she's just swung the election, mind.’
      • ‘Will they swing the election in your favour again?’
      • ‘Whether this sliver of defectors will once again be big enough to swing a presidential election is less clear.’
      • ‘Although on different teams, they are examples of a nationwide movement that some experts predict could swing the election.’
      • ‘Well, it's rare that a vice president swung an election one way or the other.’
      • ‘Could this really be what swings the election one way or the other?’
      • ‘You only need a few percentage points difference to swing an election.’
      • ‘Young people have the potential to swing the election one way or the other.’
      • ‘According to intelligence sources, the army is now determined to swing the balance of power back in its favor.’
    2. 4.2 informal with object Succeed in bringing about.
      • ‘what swung it was the £17,000 she offered the panel to let her win’
      • ‘Even as late as 2000, he could probably have swung it.’
      • ‘At Manchester United, you had Monday morning and all day Thursday on academic things, so that's what swung it.’
      • ‘But the thing she believes really swung it was that her husband was foreign and not even European.’
      • ‘What swung it was the thought that my husband might be having to steel himself each time I drew near for a kiss.’
      • ‘But the bit that swung it for me was when she said that camping has never been so trendy.’
      • ‘But what might have finally swung it in his favour was his looks and his Face Of 2001 title.’
      • ‘According to Associated Press voting data, Democrats could have added 13 seats by swinging 49,469 votes.’
      accomplish, achieve, obtain, acquire, get, secure, net, win, earn, attain, bag, capture, grab, hook
      View synonyms
  • 5no object Play music with a flowing but vigorous rhythm.

    ‘the band swung on’
    • ‘Ellington could swing with the strains of Egypt as much as the wails of Harlem.’
    • ‘It took Fats a tune or two to get over his initial discomfort, but soon he was swinging like only Fats Waller could swing.’
    • ‘Jazz bands swing, they groove, they jump, smoke, wail and wig out.’
    • ‘In places, for example, the orchestra has to swing like a jazz band, but that can only be suggested in musical notation; it has to be felt.’
    • ‘They don't just groove, they swing hard, and the polyrhythms created by the layered drummers create a groove that is as steady as it is complex.’
    • ‘The bands don't really swing, and don't give any indication they can, or would want to, for heaven's sake.’
    1. 5.1(of music) be played with a flowing but vigorous rhythm.
      ‘Back among their brethren in Harlem many took comfort in late-night jams - where the music really swung - but also in drink and hard drugs.’
      • ‘The music swings and the professionals perform elaborately energetic movements.’
      • ‘These dozen folk-punk songs swing with an infectious rhythm.’
      • ‘One number rocked, one swung - stylistically it was all over the place, and much the better for it.’
      • ‘Their music neither rocks nor swings - it jumps.’
  • 6 informal no object (of an event, place, or way of life) be lively, exciting, or fashionable.

    • ‘Lam Morrisson & Band provided the live music and the place was really swinging.’
    • ‘The party was swinging all night long.’
    • ‘After all, this was the 60s and London was swinging.’
  • 7 informal no object Engage in group sex or swap sexual partners within a group, especially on a habitual basis.

    • ‘I would like to get them to swing more often to impress my partner.’
    • ‘It doesn't mean your husband is bored with you but don't get too mad if he does swing with another partner at the club.’
    • ‘We know a few couples who swing regularly.’


  • 1A seat suspended by ropes or chains, on which someone may sit and swing back and forth.

    ‘The chains that had been holding the seat of the swing up were still sticking straight out.’
    • ‘An electricity company is warning children to stay away from its cables after workers found a rope swing attached to live wires.’
    • ‘All that's left are a couple of lengths of chain, swings long gone.’
    • ‘I was able to put her in the swing or the bouncy seat, switch on the stereo and everyone was happy.’
    • ‘He and a group of friends had been playing on a swing suspended between two trees in a field near his home.’
    • ‘All that could be heard were the sounds of the swings swaying back and forth.’
    • ‘She sat on her favorite swing swinging back and forth slowly… why?’
    • ‘I felt a hand grab the chain of the swing and pull it back.’
    • ‘I was gripping onto the ropes of the swing with all my might.’
    • ‘He was swinging back and forth on a metal swing watching her.’
    • ‘He laughed lightly, pushing himself back and forth on the swing.’
    • ‘She tightened her grip on the ropes of the swing.’
    • ‘I reached the door, but instead of going inside, I took a seat on the swing.’
    • ‘Sarah pulled back on one of the tire swing's chains, making the circle it was spinning in grow smaller and get faster.’
    • ‘Taking my hands off of the swing's chains, he led me around to face him.’
    • ‘He set her down on a swing, and seated himself into the one next to her.’
    • ‘There's graffiti and one of the swings looks like it has already broken.’
    • ‘As she walked now, she looked at the empty swings, the empty merry-go-round, the empty slide.’
    • ‘He sat down on one of the swings and looked at me expectantly.’
    • ‘In the end there wasn't that much of a problem and the kids are looking forward to getting back on the swings again.’
    1. 1.1A period of time spent swinging back and forth on a seat suspended by ropes or chains.
      ‘I decided it would be irresponsible of me to leave without ensuring that they worked properly. So I had a swing for 5 minutes.’
      • ‘Go into the play ground and have a swing on the swings.’
  • 2An act of swinging.

    ‘with the swing of her arm, the knife flashed through the air’
    • ‘Warm hands brushed my shoulders and I shrieked, lashing out with a violent swing of my arms.’
    • ‘Turning with a swing of his arms, Randy loped down the steps and across the grass to his own home, already noisy with the bickering of his parents.’
    • ‘Dean punctuated the moment with a swing of his arm and a yell.’
    • ‘Michael was struggling to deflect a rain of blows, and the swing of his arm was getting slower and slower.’
    • ‘Each stretch should be held for at least 10 seconds with 10 repetitions on each arm for arm swings.’
    • ‘The March is a simple enough dance: march in place with exaggerated arm swings.’
    • ‘He shrugged with an elaborate swing of his shoulders, a typical response from any adolescent who wasn't in the mood for sharing.’
    • ‘I can't tell you how many times I've had races ruined by people giving me an elbow to the face or a hand to the hip disguised as an arm swing.’
    • ‘They fought righteously; every blow, every swing of their weapon, they made every motion count.’
    • ‘Shrapnel explodes into your face with every swing of the ax.’
    • ‘There are also clipping moments, but a large amount of these seem to come from quick swings of the camera or particularly massive spills.’
    swaying, oscillation, undulation
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1The manner in which a golf club or a bat is swung.
      ‘the flaws in his swing weren't evident when he was an amateur’
      • ‘The researchers referred to timing as those forces that are applied to the golf club during the swing.’
      • ‘A proper stroke has been compared to the proper swing of a golf club.’
      • ‘In addition to the above, other factors need to be considered and corrected to improve your golf swing.’
      • ‘There's been a big change in his body mannerisms and his golf swing.’
      • ‘But my children did break out with the eldest boy taking his first tentative swing with a golf club in a coaching lesson costing £7 for an hour.’
      • ‘It was a good experience to go through because I got a lot of what I wanted in my golf swing.’
      • ‘As a golf swing involves the whole body, any part of the body can be injured in the course of play, the researchers caution.’
      • ‘Someone is practising his golf swing in the nets on the sports area.’
      • ‘On the other hand, all my players have different golf swings.’
      • ‘How can the golf swings of the top players differ so dramatically, yet work so well?’
      • ‘If you think this article is going to be about the finer points of the follow through of the golf swing, then you are mistaken.’
      • ‘When he mentioned something about having a nice feel for his golf swing, a reporter asked how he did that.’
      • ‘Strength without flexibility is not conducive to producing power in your golf swing.’
      • ‘This is a very similar motion to the one that occurs during the hitting segment in the golf swing.’
      • ‘This system recognizes that golfers come in all shapes and sizes and their golf swing should reflect this.’
      • ‘Not only did playing fast boost his endurance; it improved his swing and accuracy, too.’
      • ‘I knew some aspects of my swing were flawed, but I wasn't working towards curing them.’
      • ‘He had been showing a tentative swing in batting practice, though his aggressiveness was present in games.’
      • ‘He said it was difficult to teach golf properly unless coaches could place their pupils' hands in a proper position on the club or turn their shoulders to demonstrate a proper swing.’
      • ‘He has enough power that shortening his swing shouldn't reduce his long-ball potential.’
      • ‘I'm not the type of hitter you would try to pitch around, I'm not a McGwire who can hit the ball out on each swing.’
      • ‘He'll never hit long homers, but he has such remarkable bat control that he can alter his swing to lift the ball.’
      • ‘He says he hit the ball better and his swing was sharper than it was during his hot streak, but too often he simply hit balls that didn't fall in.’
      • ‘Last season, he focused too much on trying to hit home runs by pulling the ball, and his swing got messed up in the process.’
    2. 2.2mass noun The motion of swinging.
      ‘this short cut gave her hair new movement and swing’
      • ‘Here, layers are added at the chin length to increase hair volume and give some swing.’
      • ‘A full skirt adds swing and style.’
      • ‘Until the 1920s, the most accurate timepieces depended on the regular swing of a pendulum.’
      swing, sweep, wave, roll, shake, movement, oscillation, undulation
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3An attempted blow or punch.
      ‘Neil took a swing at her’
      • ‘There were some swings and some punches as well as a few cheap kicks.’
      • ‘She quickly turned back around and took a swing to punch me in the face but I jerked my head back so she could miss.’
      • ‘After that, I snapped back to reality and started dodging his punches and swings.’
      • ‘He slammed his drink down on the counter, headed over to the man with the loudest voice and took a swing at him.’
      • ‘He took a swing at the remaining youth, knocking the hat from his head.’
      • ‘Before the sword was near him, he struck the horse's head with an underhand swing, knocking the beast onto its side.’
      strike, stroke, swing, hit, slap, brush, cuff, clip
      View synonyms
    4. 2.4Cricket mass noun Sideways deviation of the ball from a regular path.
      as modifier ‘a swing bowler’
      • ‘Does it surprise you that genuine swing bowlers are such a rare breed these days?’
      • ‘Bowlers depending on swing have traditionally fared well here.’
      • ‘The breakthrough came from Jones, an inspiration at times, who had begun to gain some swing as the ball scuffed.’
      • ‘They're all swing bowlers too, and there are not many swing bowlers in the world at the moment.’
      • ‘For a bowler who mainly relies on swing, you'd expect Hoggard to enjoy the conditions in England.’
      • ‘Here's the best young swing bowler in the country.’
      • ‘He bowled superbly, put ball in the right areas with a bit of swing, and made the wicket look like it was doing something.’
      • ‘Agarkar, it might be observed, is a much better bowler with the old ball when he can generate reverse swing.’
      • ‘He told me to concentrate mostly on the old ball when it would take reverse swing, and his suggestion worked wonders.’
      • ‘His ability to swing the ball would be missed because it is swing bowling that has undone Australia's batsmen as much as anything.’
      • ‘I was getting swing, because essentially I am a swing bowler, but there were too many wides.’
      • ‘Serious back problems, then a dislocated shoulder restricted the left-arm swing bowler to a handful of appearances over the past two seasons.’
      • ‘The only problem I had was learning to control the swing of the ball and I am working on that.’
      • ‘The West Indies were constrained early in their chase by some healthy swing bowling aided by the overcast conditions.’
      • ‘The left-arm swing bowler has now gathered up 21 Championship wickets in the last six innings and he has taken them at an incredible average of 8.76 runs apiece.’
      • ‘Coming back into the side after an injury, he will be looking to establish himself as the premier exponent of swing bowling in the country.’
      • ‘The pace and late swing of Pakistan's fast bowlers proved too much to handle.’
      • ‘He bowled an excellent spell late in the day, getting appreciable reverse swing.’
      • ‘He stuck to the same line and had some reverse swing going.’
      • ‘Pace bowlers should master swing, change of pace, bowling yorkers and other variations.’
  • 3A discernible change in opinion, especially the amount by which votes or points scored change from one side to another.

    ‘a five per cent swing to Labour’
    • ‘Minor parties tend not to be elected, and the constituency system exaggerates national swings in votes to produce a larger than proportional swing in the numbers of seats won or lost.’
    • ‘A swing of three million votes is gigantic in our society where party allegiances are formed in childhood and reinforced by an omnipresent media.’
    • ‘A swing of 100,000 votes in a over two decades is quite phenomenal, and it points to a future where Unionists can no longer demand that it is their way or the highway.’
    • ‘For any of the major parties to gain outright control of the hung council, it would require a major swing in votes.’
    • ‘However, we feel that the swing in popular opinion highlighted in this election has far deeper roots.’
    • ‘Such a swing of opinion reflects the people's tendency to change tack depending on which way the wind is blowing.’
    • ‘The Liberal Party recorded its second lowest vote in history, only 33.8 percent - a swing of 8.42 percent.’
    • ‘The new millennium has also seen a swing in public opinion and political attitude towards independent education.’
    • ‘In the 10 seats with the largest reductions in the informal vote, there was a swing to Labor of 0.2%.’
    • ‘That's why there's going to be a huge swing in the next five years.’
    • ‘But the violent swings in the electoral pendulum have implications that go far beyond the fortunes of the two major parties.’
    • ‘But he also possesses a majority of more than 5,000 votes - and that's after the massive swing to Labour at the last election.’
    • ‘The party is banking on a voter swing away from the government but having both candidates so close together makes vote management difficult in the four seat constituency.’
    • ‘While the vote is yet to be finalised, if a swing of that order were repeated across the country, the government would lose more than 20 seats.’
    • ‘His successive statements were often contradictory, but it cannot be assumed that these swings in his opinions were wholly tactical.’
    • ‘First, as in 2000, I expect a last minute swing toward the Democrats.’
    change, move
    trend, tendency, drift, movement, current, course
    fluctuation, change, shift, switch, variation, oscillation
    View synonyms
  • 4mass noun A style of jazz or dance music with a flowing but vigorous rhythm.

    ‘His choreography is full of intricate rhythms done with up-tempo swing and other driving jazz music forms.’
    • ‘It's certainly not easy for a jazz pianist famous for swing to turn over to bebop.’
    • ‘The band has a wide appeal, playing everything from small band swing to Dixieland jazz and 50s influenced rhythm and blues.’
    • ‘From the States came rhythm and blues, hot on the heels of swing and jazz which had arrived some years earlier.’
    • ‘Before bebop the biggest genre in jazz was swing.’
    • ‘The band performs a wide ranging repertoire, from rousing marches to the big band swing and jazz.’
    • ‘They've gone from swing to Italian flavored jazz to americana.’
    • ‘Moody melodies vie for attention with swing, ballads and jazz.’
    • ‘She will be showcasing a variety of material from the classic era of jazz and swing in a set that will include many new additions to her repertoire.’
    • ‘The second piece was a book review of American swing and jazz, and how adult pop culture was supplanted by teen pop culture.’
    • ‘The four sound very comfortable together, with an easy sense of swing that would put many long-established groups to shame.’
    • ‘If it's people who love big-band swing, wouldn't they rather just hear the classics?’
    • ‘Grooving to the sounds of bebop and swing, a growing number of artists are turning to Jazz for inspiration and finding success along the way’
    • ‘His chorus blends the most modern harmonies with old-fashioned swing.’
    • ‘She has a special feel for swing and Latin dance rhythms and enjoys seeing patrons get up and dance while she is playing solo.’
    • ‘This album of songs from 1935 to 1941 comes from an era that some wouldn't necessarily associate Billie Holiday with: big band and swing.’
    • ‘However, big band and swing - the rock and pop of the day - were in full bloom.’
    • ‘The dance floor is full and patrons are once again swaying to the sounds of swing.’
    • ‘What I do like about swing is when the horn section is really tight by itself and together with the rhythm section, and when the soloists do their solos, they could be heard over the mix.’
    • ‘Just in time for the birth of swing, he left for New York.’
    rhythm, beat, pulse, cadence, pace, rhythmical flow, rhythmical pattern, measure, metre, tempo, lilt
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1The rhythmic feeling or drive of swing.
      ‘On record, he is a master of filling spaces with innovative licks, whilst still leaving enough room for the music's swing and rhythm to ease the tunes along.’
      • ‘It is perhaps the busiest of the productions on the album working more of a swing into its rhythmic structure.’
      • ‘But it's the song's swing rather than its lyrics that keep it agitated.’
      • ‘Whilst these recordings are very good and well recorded, they just don't have that swing.’
  • 5North American A swift tour involving a number of stops, especially one undertaken as part of a political campaign.

    ‘Also afterwards, President Bush opened a five-day campaign swing with a bus tour in Florida.’
    • ‘Cheney just finished a campaign swing through Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.’
    • ‘Now his comments came ahead of a campaign swing by President Bush.’
    • ‘‘This was an important stop on my current swing through the region,’ Mr Cheney said.’
    • ‘During a recent campaign swing through Ohio, a place he seems to visit every week, he really outdid himself.’
  • 6(in musical theatre) an understudy, typically one who covers multiple roles in the chorus of a particular production.

    ‘Beginning as a swing and understudy in 1996, the teenager eventually scored a major role and performed the lead as an understudy about ten times.’
    • ‘Former Joffrey dancer Meg Paul, who has been with the production from its workshop days as both a swing and an understudy, is now also a dance captain.’
    • ‘Powell went on a week after she was hired as a swing on Hairspray.’
    • ‘And interchangeability - both inside and out - is the key to success as a swing.’
    • ‘He sang, he danced and read scenes of Max and Franz, eventually besting more than a dozen other hopefuls to become a swing.’


    get back into the swing of things
    • Return to an activity or routine.

      • ‘he's wasted no time getting back into the swing of things following his hand-breaking incident’
    get into the swing of things
    • Become accustomed to an activity or routine.

      • ‘the new year presents new subjects of study and it takes a while to get into the swing of things’
      • ‘I'm going to try to get back into the swing of things from now on and hopefully establish a routine, not just with the blogging, but with other things to, like revision for one.’
      • ‘I did what I knew best, and eventually, I got into the swing of things.’
      • ‘I have adapted pretty quick to it and got into the swing of things.’
      • ‘For the moment, I'm still getting into the swing of things.’
      • ‘Perhaps my posts today evidence that I am getting back into the swing of things, but we shall see.’
      • ‘At the moment we are just getting back into the swing of things here in the college after a much appreciated break.’
      • ‘Just getting back into the swing of things after a hectic few days.’
      • ‘I think I was getting back into the swing of things on Sunday, but Sunday night ended up with very achey joints.’
      • ‘September's a busy month of dance where everybody gets back into the swing of things.’
      • ‘So I'm back into the swing of things at the gym and things are really looking up at this stage.’
    go with a swing
    British informal
    • (of a party or other event) be lively and enjoyable.

      • ‘To make the party go with a swing, they have combined their efforts for a fundraising event.’
      • ‘The August Garden Party went with a swing, in perfect weather after a morning of downpours.’
      • ‘It's the morning after the night before, and your party clearly went with a swing.’
      • ‘Fairground, stilt-walkers and fun and games galore, not to mention a colossal supply of booze, means that the biggest free party in racing goes with a swing from long before noon.’
      • ‘The Golden Years Christmas party went with a swing on Friday in the community centre.’
      • ‘The committee had spared no effort in trying to make the village look its best and the entertainment and other functions went with a swing.’
      • ‘All this makes a jolly evening go with a swing.’
      • ‘There are no glittering curtains, he has no glamorous assistant, but with the aid of several members of the audience, he does all the dazzling that is needed to make an evening of magic go with a swing.’
      • ‘Making the summer go with a swing has been a scheme of note.’
      • ‘Staff who make the house-party atmosphere go with a swing are the biggest boon.’
    in full swing
    • At the height of activity.

      ‘by nine-thirty the dance was in full swing’
      • ‘The carnival is in full swing with plenty of activities for all the family.’
      • ‘Come New Year the gym will be full of newbies and the diet season will be in full swing.’
      • ‘A new 6pm to midnight shift was introduced this month, when the festive party season was in full swing.’
      • ‘The drinking is in full swing - the men oblivious to the desecration that has just occurred.’
      • ‘Lizzie and I arrived at Trafalgar Square with the parade in full swing.’
      • ‘The fine weather has been greatly welcomed by the people of the locality with the cutting of turf in full swing.’
      • ‘Preparations for the competition will be in full swing by the end of January.’
      • ‘The annual Garda anti drink-driving campaign at Christmas time is now in full swing.’
      • ‘The centre is now back in full swing with various groups and organisations using the facilities.’
      • ‘The training camps, which will get into full swing shortly, should design special sessions to make the best use of the change.’
    not room to swing a cat
    • Used in reference to a very confined space.

      • ‘there's not even room to swing a cat!’


      Mid 17th century the cat in this phrase is often said to be the ‘cat-o'-nine-tails’ or whip formerly used in the Royal Navy, but firm evidence for this is lacking.

    swing both ways
    • Be bisexual.

      • ‘I was hoping he swings both ways’
      • ‘At one moment, there is a hint that she might swing both ways.’
      • ‘They find out that he swings both ways.’
      • ‘Her story is said to be "an engaging romantic adventure", though there's no word on whether she swings both ways.’
      • ‘The stunning actress told the magazine recently that she swings both ways, and she is in no way ashamed of her sexual preferences’
      • ‘The singer denied claims that he swings both ways.’
    swing for the fences
    US informal
    • Attempt to satisfy high aspirations that are very difficult to achieve.

      • ‘the management team is really swinging for the fences’
      • ‘He was swinging for the fences here and certainly not playing it safe.’
      • ‘The more seasoned CEO is swinging for the fences with the proposed acquisition.’
      • ‘Many webmasters will "swing for the fences" and, after not having any success for so long, bow out of the race entirely.’
      • ‘A company cannot realistically swing for the fences unless it pulls together the right team.’
      • ‘The mayor swings for the fences with stuff like congestion pricing.’
    swing into action
    • Quickly begin acting or operating.

      ‘fire and rescue vehicles swung into action’
      • ‘Long-prepared procedures, contained in the Underground's emergency plan, began to swing into action.’
      • ‘An action plan prepared by the health authority had already begun to swing into action and many key changes were under way.’
      • ‘A massive clear-up operation is to swing into action at a playing field which travellers occupied for more than six weeks.’
      • ‘Rescue and relief systems did not swing into action until well after the storm had hit and caused its devastation, with many lives lost as a result.’
      • ‘Emergency personnel were supposed to swing into action from around 9.30 am, but were delayed until around 9.51 am because of a formal opening before the exercise.’
      • ‘The close-knit community will have to swing into action again to raise funding for the community centre costing an estimated €300,000.’
      • ‘The key is to have a network of informed organizations and individuals who are already up to speed on media issues and can swing into action on short notice.’
      • ‘These include the vaccination of small numbers of military and medical specialists who would swing into action in the event of biological attack.’
      • ‘The internet and foreign newspapers were likely to swing into action, bandying around allegations without having to worry about whether they were true or not.’
      • ‘A special team of professional witnesses are also set to swing into action to gather evidence on the culprits as the council gets tough with persistent offenders.’
    swing the lead
    British informal
    • Shirk one's duty; malinger.

      • ‘It's not so much that people are swinging the lead, but that the benefits culture of dependency creates a depression which is hard to get out of.’
      • ‘Employers criticise us for writing lines for employees who they claim are swinging the lead.’
      • ‘As I'm covering classes this year frankly no-one is going to care whether I'm there or not, it's just the idea that they might think I'm swinging the lead that worries me.’
      • ‘His bluntness did not always make him popular, particularly with those he thought were swinging the lead, but his team were always focussed.’
      • ‘On the other hand, we all know that there are thousands who are swinging the lead in trying to milk the system for all it's worth.’
      • ‘It's not as if I can pull a sickie either, Tracy can tell when I'm swinging the lead.’
      • ‘It was upsetting because the last thing I would ever have done was swing the lead.’
      • ‘Apparently life begins at 40-which will come as something of a relief to any of us who've been swinging the lead for the past few decades.’
      • ‘Now we all have families, mortgages and bills to pay (council tax included) the same as everybody else, would you swing the lead losing that amount of money?’


      With nautical allusion to the lump of lead suspended by a string, slowly lowered to ascertain the depth of water.

    swings and roundabouts
    • A situation in which different actions or options result in no eventual gain or loss.

      ‘My individual record this season has been pretty good as I've certainly won more than I've lost, but like any sport it's all swings and roundabouts.’
      • ‘Given that the council makes something like in excess of £2 million from off-street car parks, and that income has gone up, I think there's an element of swings and roundabouts.’
      • ‘It's all about swings and roundabouts at the end of the day, and although we would like to see more volume everybody finds themselves in the same position.’
      • ‘It's a case of swings and roundabouts where prejudice is concerned.’
      • ‘It's a game of swings and roundabouts but there's not a bookie in the business who would claim to be behind at the moment.’
      • ‘But surely it is a case of swings and roundabouts.’
      • ‘But it is swings and roundabouts, and we have spent some fairly miserable weeks digging rain-swept car parks and damp, dark caves.’
      • ‘It tends to be swings and roundabouts really - sometimes I will be busy writing and other times I concentrate on designing websites.’
      • ‘Then again, I don't pay for bandwidth, so I guess it's swings and roundabouts really.’
      • ‘I don't want to have to, but it's swings and roundabouts.’


      From the phrase to gain on the swings and lose on the roundabouts.


Old English swingan ‘to beat, whip’, also ‘rush’, geswing ‘a stroke with a weapon’, of Germanic origin; related to German schwingen ‘brandish’.