To swear by
Swear Swear, v. i. [imp. {Swore}, formerly {Sware}; p. p. {Sworn}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Swearing}.] [OE. swerien, AS. swerian; akin to D. zweren, OS. swerian, OHG. swerien, G. schw["o]ren, Icel. sverja, Sw. sv["a]rja, Dan. sv[ae]rge, Icel. & Sw. svara to answer, Dan. svare, Dan. & Sw. svar an answer, Goth. swaran to swear, and perhaps to E. swarm. [root]177. Cf. {Answer}.] 1. To affirm or utter a solemn declaration, with an appeal to God for the truth of what is affirmed; to make a promise, threat, or resolve on oath; also, to affirm solemnly by some sacred object, or one regarded as sacred, as the Bible, the Koran, etc. [1913 Webster]

Ye shall swear by my name falsely. --Lev. xix. 12. [1913 Webster]

I swear by all the Roman gods. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. (Law) To give evidence on oath; as, to swear to the truth of a statement; he swore against the prisoner. [1913 Webster]

3. To make an appeal to God in an irreverant manner; to use the name of God or sacred things profanely; to call upon God in imprecation; to curse. [1913 Webster]

[I] swore little; diced not above seven times a week. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{To swear by}, to place great confidence in a person or thing; to trust implicitly as an authority. ``I simply meant to ask if you are one of those who swear by Lord Verulam.'' --Miss Edgeworth.

{To swear off}, to make a solemn vow, or a serious resolution, to abstain from something; as, to swear off smoking. [Slang] [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • To swear off — Swear Swear, v. i. [imp. {Swore}, formerly {Sware}; p. p. {Sworn}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Swearing}.] [OE. swerien, AS. swerian; akin to D. zweren, OS. swerian, OHG. swerien, G. schw[ o]ren, Icel. sverja, Sw. sv[ a]rja, Dan. sv[ae]rge, Icel. & Sw.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • swear by — (informal) EXPRESS CONFIDENCE IN, have faith in, trust, believe in; set store by, value; informal rate. → swear * * * phrasal 1. : to take an oath by swear by the saints …   Useful english dictionary

  • To swear the peace against one — Swear Swear, v. t. 1. To utter or affirm with a solemn appeal to God for the truth of the declaration; to make (a promise, threat, or resolve) under oath. [1913 Webster] Swear unto me here by God, that thou wilt not deal falsely with me. Gen. xxi …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • swear by something — swear by (something) to strongly believe in something. Though there s no scientific evidence for this method of finding water, some farmers swear by it. Some teachers swear by stickers as a teaching tool and use them to teach kids everything …   New idioms dictionary

  • swear by — (something) to strongly believe in something. Though there s no scientific evidence for this method of finding water, some farmers swear by it. Some teachers swear by stickers as a teaching tool and use them to teach kids everything …   New idioms dictionary

  • swear by — phrasal verb [transitive] Word forms swear by : present tense I/you/we/they swear by he/she/it swears by present participle swearing by past tense swore by past participle sworn by informal swear by something to believe that something is… …   English dictionary

  • swear by — PHRASAL VERB If you swear by something, you believe that it can be relied on to have a particular effect. [INFORMAL] [V P n] Many people swear by vitamin C s ability to ward off colds …   English dictionary

  • swear by — verb To wholeheartedly trust. I swear by my Petit Larousse when it comes to learning French. , Finnish: vannoa jonkin nimeen …   Wiktionary

  • swear by — 1) use as the support or authority that what one is saying is truthful The accused criminal was asked to swear on a bible at the trial. 2) have complete confidence in , be sure of something He swears by the walk that he takes every morning …   Idioms and examples

  • swear by — {v.} 1. To use as the support or authority that what you are saying is truthful; take an oath upon. * /A witness swears by the Bible that he will tell the truth./ * /In ancient Greece a doctor swore by Apollo, the god of healing, that he would be …   Dictionary of American idioms

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