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Denotation vs. Connotation

swerve

[swurv] /swɜrv/
verb (used without object), swerved, swerving.
1.
to turn aside abruptly in movement or direction; deviate suddenly from the straight or direct course.
verb (used with object), swerved, swerving.
2.
to cause to turn aside:
Nothing could swerve him.
noun
3.
an act of swerving; turning aside.
Origin of swerve
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English swerven (v.); Old English sweorfan to rub, file; cognate with Dutch zwerven to rove, Old High German swerban, Old Norse sverfa to file, Gothic afswairban to wipe off
Related forms
unswerved, adjective
unswerving, adjective
unswervingly, adverb
unswervingness, noun
Synonyms
1. See deviate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for swerve
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Could the young but conceive a tithe of the misery I endured, they would never after swerve from the truth.

    Rattlin the Reefer Edward Howard
  • It has fixed rules which are the props of order, and will not swerve or bend in extreme cases.

    Statesman Plato
  • If during the three years of mourning he does not swerve from his father's principles, he may be pronounced a truly filial son.

  • And even now it was held to be undignified to swerve from that doctrine.

    England and Germany Emile Joseph Dillon
  • Never be tempted to swerve from its dictates, even in the most trivial degree.

British Dictionary definitions for swerve

swerve

/swɜːv/
verb
1.
to turn or cause to turn aside, usually sharply or suddenly, from a course
2.
(transitive) to avoid (a person or event)
noun
3.
the act, instance, or degree of swerving
Derived Forms
swervable, adjective
swerver, noun
Word Origin
Old English sweorfan to scour; related to Old High German swerban to wipe off, Gothic afswairban to wipe off, Old Norse sverfa to file
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for swerve
v.

early 13c., "to depart, make off;" early 14c., "to turn aside, deviate from a straight course," probably from Old English sweorfan "to rub, scour, file" (but sense development is difficult to trace), from Proto-Germanic *swerbanan (cf Old Norse sverfa "to scour, file," Old Saxon swebran "to wipe off"), from PIE root *swerbh-. Cognate words in other Germanic languages (cf. Old Frisian swerva "to creep," Middle Dutch swerven "to rove, stray") suggests the sense of "go off, turn aside" may have existed in Old English, though unrecorded. Related: Swerved; swerving.

n.

1741, from swerve (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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