Swerve Swerve, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Swerved}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Swerving}.] [OE. swerven, AS. sweorfan to wipe off, to file, to polish; akin to OFries. swerva to creep, D. zwerven to swerve, to rope, OS. swerban to wipe off, MHG. swerben to be whirled, OHG. swerban to wipe off, Icel. sverfa to file, Goth. swa['i]rban (in comp.) to wipe, and perhaps to E. swarm. Cf. {Swarm}.] 1. To stray; to wander; to rope. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

A maid thitherward did run, To catch her sparrow which from her did swerve. --Sir P. Sidney. [1913 Webster]

2. To go out of a straight line; to deflect. ``The point [of the sword] swerved.'' --Sir P. Sidney. [1913 Webster]

3. To wander from any line prescribed, or from a rule or duty; to depart from what is established by law, duty, custom, or the like; to deviate. [1913 Webster]

I swerve not from thy commandments. --Bk. of Com. Prayer. [1913 Webster]

They swerve from the strict letter of the law. --Clarendon. [1913 Webster]

Many who, through the contagion of evil example, swerve exceedingly from the rules of their holy religion. --Atterbury. [1913 Webster]

4. To bend; to incline. ``The battle swerved.'' --Milton. [1913 Webster]

5. To climb or move upward by winding or turning. [1913 Webster]

The tree was high; Yet nimbly up from bough to bough I swerved. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • swerve — [swə:v US swə:rv] v [: Old English; Origin: sweorfan [i] to wipe, put away ] 1.) to make a sudden sideways movement while moving forwards, usually in order to avoid hitting something swerve violently/sharply ▪ The car swerved sharply to avoid the …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • swerve — swerve, veer, deviate, depart, digress, diverge mean to turn aside from a straight line or a defined course. Swerve may refer to a turning aside, usually somewhat abruptly, by a person or material thing {at that point the road swerves to the… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • swerve — [ swɜrv ] verb intransitive or transitive if something such as a vehicle swerves, or you swerve it, it changes direction suddenly in order to avoid someone or something: He swerved suddenly, narrowly missing a cyclist. ╾ swerve noun count …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Swerve — Swerve, v. t. To turn aside. Gauden. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • swerve — swerve·less; swerve; …   English syllables

  • swerve — index depart, detour, deviate, deviation, digress, digression, divert, indirection (indirect action), oscillate …   Law dictionary

  • swerve — [v] turn aside, often to avoid collision bend, deflect, depart, depart from, deviate, dip, diverge, err, get off course, go off course, incline, lurch, move, sheer, sheer off, shift, sideslip, sidestep, skew, skid, slue, stray, swing, tack, train …   New thesaurus

  • swerve — ► VERB ▪ abruptly diverge from a straight course. ► NOUN ▪ an abrupt change of course. ORIGIN Old English, «leave, turn aside» …   English terms dictionary

  • swerve — [swʉrv] vi., vt. swerved, swerving [ME swerven < OE sweorfan, to file away, scour < IE base * swerbh , to turn, wipe, sweep > Gr syrphetos, sweepings, litter] to turn aside or cause to turn aside sharply or suddenly from a straight line …   English World dictionary

  • swerve — v. (D; intr.) to swerve from; to (to swerve from a course; to swerve to the right) * * * [swɜːv] to (to swerve from a course; to swerve to the right) (D; intr.) to swerve from …   Combinatory dictionary

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