I. verb (swam; swum; swimming) Etymology: Middle English swimmen, from Old English swimman; akin to Old High German swimman to swim Date: before 12th century intransitive verb 1. a. to propel oneself in water by natural means (as movements of the limbs, fins, or tail) b. to play in the water (as at a beach or swimming pool) 2. to move with a motion like that of swimming ; glide <
a cloud swam slowly across the moon
3. a. to float on a liquid ; not sink b. to surmount difficulties ; not go under <
sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish — Daniel Webster
4. to become immersed in or flooded with or as if with a liquid <
potatoes swimming in gravy
5. to have a floating or reeling appearance or sensation transitive verb 1. a. to cross by propelling oneself through water <
swim a stream
b. to execute in swimming 2. to cause to swim or float • swimmer noun II. noun Date: 1599 1. a smooth gliding motion 2. an act or period of swimming 3. a temporary dizziness or unconsciousness 4. a. an area frequented by fish b. the main current of activity <
in the swim
III. adjective Date: 1924 of, relating to, or used in or for swimming <
a swim meet

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


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