Swan
Swan Swan (sw[o^]n), n. [AS. swan; akin to D. zwaan, OHG. swan, G. schwan, Icel. svanr, Sw. svan, Dan. svane; and perhaps to E. sound something audible.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) Any one of numerous species of large aquatic birds belonging to {Cygnus}, {Olor}, and allied genera of the subfamily {Cygnin[ae]}. They have a large and strong beak and a long neck, and are noted for their graceful movements when swimming. Most of the northern species are white. In literature the swan was fabled to sing a melodious song, especially at the time of its death. [1913 Webster]

Note: The European white, or mute, swan ({Cygnus gibbus}), which is most commonly domesticated, bends its neck in an S-shaped curve. The whistling, or trumpeting, swans of the genus {Olor} do not bend the neck in an S-shaped curve, and are noted for their loud and sonorous cry, due to complex convolutions of the windpipe. To this genus belong the European whooper, or whistling swan ({Olor cygnus}), the American whistling swan ({O. Columbianus}), and the trumpeter swan ({O. buccinator}). The Australian black swan ({Chenopis atrata}) is dull black with white on the wings, and has the bill carmine, crossed with a white band. It is a very graceful species and is often domesticated. The South American black-necked swan ({Sthenelides melancorypha}) is a very beautiful and graceful species, entirely white, except the head and neck, which are dark velvety seal-brown. Its bill has a double bright rose-colored knob. [1913 Webster]

2. Fig.: An appellation for a sweet singer, or a poet noted for grace and melody; as Shakespeare is called the swan of Avon. [1913 Webster]

3. (Astron.) The constellation Cygnus. [1913 Webster]

{Swan goose} (Zo["o]l.), a bird of India ({Cygnopsis cygnoides}) resembling both the swan and the goose.

{Swan shot}, a large size of shot used in fowling. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • SWAN — bezeichnet ein australisches Kriegsschiff im Zweiten Weltkrieg, siehe HMAS Swan (U74) eine Sloop Klasse der Royal Navy, siehe Black Swan Klasse (Sloop) eine finnische Werft, siehe Nautor’s Swan, sowie eine Yacht dieses Herstellers, siehe Swan 48… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Swan — bezeichnet ein australisches Kriegsschiff im Zweiten Weltkrieg, siehe HMAS Swan (U74) eine Sloop Klasse der Royal Navy, siehe Black Swan Klasse (Sloop) eine finnische Werft, siehe Nautor’s Swan, sowie Yachtmodelle dieses Herstellers, siehe auch… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • swan — O.E. swan, from P.Gmc. *swanaz (Cf. O.S. swan, O.N. svanr, M.Du. swane, Du. zwaan, O.H.G. swan, Ger. Schwan), probably lit. the singing bird, from PIE root *swon /*swen to sing, make sound (see SOUND (Cf. sound) …   Etymology dictionary

  • swan — swan; swan·i·mote; swan·nery; swan·ny; swan·sea; swan·skin; swan·mote; …   English syllables

  • swan — swan1 [swän, swôn] n. [ME < OE, akin to Ger schwan < IE base * swen , to sound, sing > L sonus,SOUND1 ] 1. pl. swans or swan any of several large bodied, web footed waterfowl (family Anatidae, esp. genus Cygnus) with a long, graceful… …   English World dictionary

  • Swan — Swan, IA U.S. city in Iowa Population (2000): 121 Housing Units (2000): 40 Land area (2000): 0.647074 sq. miles (1.675914 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.647074 sq. miles (1.675914 sq. km) FIPS …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Swan — Swan, John Macallan Swan, Joseph Wilson …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Swan —   [swɔn], Sir (seit 1904) Joseph Wilson, britischer Erfinder, * Sunderland 31. 10. 1828, ✝ Warlingham (County Surrey) 27. 5. 1914; Pionier auf dem Gebiet der Fotografie und neben T. A. Edison Wegbereiter der elektrischen Glühlampe; erfand mehrere …   Universal-Lexikon

  • swan- — *swan germ.: Quelle: Personenname; Sonstiges: Reichert, Lexikon der altgermanischen Namen 2, 1990, 618 (Sunild?, Svanila) …   Germanisches Wörterbuch

  • swan — ► NOUN ▪ a large waterbird, typically white, with a long flexible neck, short legs, and webbed feet. ► VERB (swanned, swanning) Brit. informal ▪ move or go in a casual, irresponsible, or ostentatious way. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

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