verb (swerved; swerving) Etymology: Middle English, from Old English sweorfan to wipe, file away; akin to Old High German swerban to wipe off, Welsh chwerfu to whirl Date: 14th century intransitive verb to turn aside abruptly from a straight line or course ; deviate transitive verb to cause to turn aside or deviate • swerve noun Synonyms: swerve, veer, deviate, depart, digress, diverge mean to turn aside from a straight course. swerve may suggest a physical, mental, or moral turning away from a given course, often with abruptness <
swerved to avoid hitting the dog
. veer implies a major change in direction <
at that point the path veers to the right
. deviate implies a turning from a customary or prescribed course <
never deviated from her daily routine
. depart suggests a deviation from a traditional or conventional course or type <
occasionally departs from his own guidelines
. digress applies to a departing from the subject of one's discourse <
a professor prone to digress
. diverge may equal depart but usually suggests a branching of a main path into two or more leading in different directions <
after school their paths diverged

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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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