Definition of swot in English:


Pronunciation /swät/ /swɑt/

Translate swot into Spanish

intransitive verbswots, swotting, swotted

[no object]informal British
  • Study assiduously.

    • ‘kids swotting for exams’
    • ‘Bill comes for the meal, but he then goes to his room to swot’
    • ‘Just last week the wonderfully named teenager Seb Clover sailed solo across the Atlantic at a time when most of his peers are swotting for exams.’
    • ‘Serves me right for reading the Economist when I should have been swotting for my year 2 exams.’
    • ‘I suppose I should be swotting madly to be prepared for the big meeting with the supervisor tomorrow, however.’
    • ‘Graduate Michael Angliss spent three years swotting for his degree - only to be told to dumb down when it came to getting a job.’
    • ‘Most players will only get one 21 game a year, possibly none if swotting for examinations.’
    • ‘This is your opportunity to get involved and find your best young speller so the sooner you register, the sooner your children can start swotting!’
    • ‘Then he swotted and got his limited electrician's licence.’
    • ‘He got on a flight, flew to Dunedin, swotted all night, sat his paper the next morning and flew to Rotorua to join the band for a concert that night.’
    • ‘Unlike exams, you can't swot up for psychometric tests, but if you think you're likely to come across them in your hunt for a job try to familiarise yourself with the process.’
    • ‘All over the country, school and university students have their heads down to swot for summer exams, and anxiety levels shoot up.’
    • ‘But he is still a bright spark when it comes to maths and English because he swots up with the help of a special tutor who teaches him on the ward.’
    • ‘I hope it restores a little bit of national pride. It was also a huge surprise. I didn't have time to swot up so I just breezed in and did the best I could.’
    • ‘This means I would no longer be returning from Paris around 1 am on Friday 21 May with at least three more days to swot up.’
    • ‘Once you have located the source of potential trouble, your next step is to go, not to the doctor, but to the bookshop to swot up your symptoms in a health manual.’
    • ‘If the idea of quitting office life sounds appealing, make sure you swot up first, advises Dave Houlden’
    • ‘Bill comes for the meal, but he then goes to his room to swot.’
    • ‘Learning to drive is getting more difficult, especially today with so much paperwork and swotting to do for separate practical and theory tests.’
    study, studying, education, schooling, tuition, teaching, academic work, instruction, training


derogatory, informal British
  • A person who studies hard, especially one regarded as spending too much time studying.

    • ‘That speech confirms what many people feel and fear about politicians: that they were the most despised classmates at school - the swot, the precocious prat, the political trainspotter.’
    • ‘The unloved school swots of the 20th century have blossomed into the alpha group of the 21st.’
    • ‘Even in Shakespeare's day, school was for girlie swots rather than naughty boys.’
    • ‘Besides, these days a cool pair of glasses is seen as a fashion plus, and I'm less likely to be called ‘four eyes’ today than when I was the speccy swot at school.’
    • ‘Cook is the school swot whose achievements in politics have not surprised anyone who sat with him in a classroom or opposite him in any debating chamber.’
    • ‘At the time, I would rather have had a detention; didn't really enjoy being the school swot.’
    • ‘To call them outsiders is like saying the school swot is from another planet.’
    • ‘And for some reason, academic success meant nothing in my school - there was no praise for doing well - only jeers from other pupils, or teachers who called me a swot in front of the rest of the class.’
    • ‘In the same way a hard-working employee can annoy his more laid-back colleagues by showing them up, so a swot tends to annoy his less bright, less studious classmates.’
    • ‘That history master happened also to be a County cricketer and a notable rugger player, so his remarks were discounted by the swots in the back row as the sort of thing he would say, wouldn't he?’
    • ‘They are the culinary equivalent of girlie swots.’
    • ‘None of us, even the swots, knew what was going on.’
    • ‘British sports writing - in contrast to the American variety - often has the feel of the class swot trying to impress the lads with his newly discovered fascination for footie.’
    • ‘And everyone looks at the floor, until the swot comes in with an answer that he hopes will impress the teachers.’
    • ‘Sue listed his academic achievements and Boris admitted he was a colossal swot - he strongly recommended boning up.’
    • ‘Brown's memory of himself at this time is not as a swot but as an all-rounder, ‘very keen on sports’.’
    • ‘He is dressed in black, wearing glasses designed to make him look like the class swot, and has a solemn expression.’
    • ‘I have a first class honours degree in biochemistry and I won the prize for being the top swot.’
    • ‘She attended the local comprehensive school, where by her own admission she was a bit of a swot.’
    • ‘You will know the answer to this so give someone else a chance you swot!’
    study, get up, read up, cram

Phrasal Verbs

    swot up
    British informal
    • also swot something up, swot up somethingStudy a subject intensively, especially in preparation for something.

      • ‘teachers spend their evenings swotting up on jargon’
      • ‘I've always been interested in old furniture and I've swotted it up a bit’
      • ‘The new site offers visitors not just information on the school, but a chance to swot up on subjects as well.’
      • ‘Hobbs, who left school at 16 without a qualification to his name, defied his detractors by swotting up on what makes a successful health club.’
      • ‘She likes Charles Dickens' novels - Nicholas Nickleby is her favourite - and after choosing her specialist subject she then had a fortnight to swot up on the writer.’
      • ‘Hundreds of Bolton residents are learning new tricks and swotting up on old skills through free learning sessions.’
      • ‘Graham is still swotting up on bicycles and has got to the stage where he's constantly muttering technical-sounding buzzwords.’
      • ‘Michelle Leiper is swotting up on exotic species of aquatic life.’
      • ‘He insists he is an ordinary child and prefers following his beloved Aston Villa to swotting up on schoolwork.’
      • ‘Clearly too Leighton has being swotting up on the dynamic events of the past decade in Scotland's art world.’
      • ‘The 19-year-old added: ‘I watch England whenever they play but will have to definitely swot up on my Arsenal knowledge.’’
      • ‘To try and sum up a potential candidate in 10 minutes is a waste of time for you and even more of a waste of time for the candidate who has to swot up on the company, preen themselves, find your office and then wait for you to decide to show.’
      • ‘One, who chose a college in northwest London to swot up on his GCSE science over Easter, found himself in a class of 30.’
      • ‘Already swotting up on their German with their World Cup tickets safely in the bag after Saturday's penultimate round of European zone qualifiers are the Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, England, Poland and Croatia.’
      • ‘Thankfully, Najah had been swotting up on the news.’
      • ‘The interview came to an end with the shrewd question of the examining professor: ‘Are you acquainted with the transcripts of the Party Congresses?’ and my humble reply: ‘I swotted up on them’.’
      • ‘The election of Britain's first Green Party MP would make a tangible difference: on 6 May, every Labour MP would begin nervously to swot up on climate change.’
      • ‘Children who wish to take part will have the whole summer to swot up on their spelling using these informative and educational packs and from September the national spelling event begins.’
      • ‘With the contest now under way, this DVD is an opportunity to swot up on one of cricket's and sport's most ancient rivalries.’


Mid 19th century dialect variant of sweat.