Swain
Swain Swain, n. [OE. swain, swein, Icel. sveinn a boy, servant; akin to Sw. sven, Dan. svend, AS. sw[=a]n, OHG. swein.] 1. A servant. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Him behoves serve himself that has no swain. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

2. A young man dwelling in the country; a rustic; esp., a cuntry gallant or lover; -- chiefly in poetry. [1913 Webster]

It were a happy life To be no better than a homely swain. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Blest swains! whose nymphs in every grace excel. --Pope. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • Swain — is a traditional English surname derived ultimately from the Old Norse personal name Sveinn (Sven, Sweyn), meaning a youth, young man. There are a number of variations in the spelling of the surname Swain, including Swaine, Swainne and Swayne.… …   Wikipedia

  • Swain — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Ben Swain (* 1986), britischer Wasserspringer Bennie Swain (1930–2008), US amerikanischer Basketballspieler und trainer Chelse Swain (* 1983), US amerikanische Schauspielerin David Swain (1801–1870), US… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • swain — [sweın] n old use [Date: 1500 1600; : Old Norse; Origin: sveinn boy, servant ] a young man from the country who loves a woman …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • swain — [ sweın ] noun count LITERARY a young man, especially a young man who is in love …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • swain — mid 12c., young man attendant upon a knight, from O.N. sveinn boy, servant, attendant, from P.Gmc. *swainaz attendant, servant, properly “one s own (man),” from PIE *swoi no , from root *swe oneself, alone, apart (see IDIOM (Cf. idiom)).… …   Etymology dictionary

  • swain — swain; swainmote /sweyn(mowt)/ See swein sweinmote …   Black's law dictionary

  • swain — ► NOUN 1) archaic a country youth. 2) literary a young lover or suitor. ORIGIN Old Norse, lad …   English terms dictionary

  • swain — [swān] n. [ME swein < ON sveinn, boy, servant, akin to OE swan, shepherd, peasant, youth < IE * swe , one s own, apart] Archaic 1. a country youth 2. a young rustic lover or gallant 3. a lover or suitor swainish adj. swainishness n …   English World dictionary

  • swain —    The earliest meaning of this word in English was ‘boy’ or ‘servant’. Traces of this survive in compounds like ‘boatswain’, ‘coxswain’. By the seventeenth century the meaning had shifted across to ‘peasant labourer’, or ‘shepherd’.    Petruchio …   A dictionary of epithets and terms of address

  • swain — boat·swain; swain; swain·ish; swain·so·na; swain·son; cox·swain; …   English syllables

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