noun, plural swine.
any stout, cloven-hoofed artiodactyl of the Old World family Suidae, having a thick hide sparsely covered with coarse hair, a disklike snout, and an often short, tasseled tail: now of worldwide distribution and hunted or raised for its meat and other products. Compare hog, pig, wild boar.
the domestic hog, Sus scrofa.
a coarse, gross, or brutishly sensual person.
a contemptible person.

before 900; Middle English; Old English swīn; cognate with German Schwein hog, Latin suīnus (adj.) porcine; akin to sow2

swinelike, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
swine (swaɪn)
n , swines, swine
1.  a coarse or contemptible person
2.  another name for a pig
[Old English swīn; related to Old Norse svīn, Gothic swein, Latin suīnus relating to swine]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. swin "pig, hog," from P.Gmc. *swinan (cf. O.S., O.Fris. M.L.G., O.H.G. swin, M.Du. swijn, Du. zwijn, Ger. Schwein), neut. adj. (with suffix *-ino-) from PIE *su- (see sow (n.)). The native word, largely ousted by pig. Applied to persons from c.1380.
Swineherd is recorded from c.1100 as swynhyrde; swinish is from c.1200. Phrase pearls before swine is from Matt. vii.6; an early Eng. formation of it was:
"Ne ge ne wurpen eowre meregrotu toforan eo wrum swynon." [c.1000]
Which is a misreading of L. marguerite "daisy" as margarite "pearl."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Swine definition

(Heb. hazir), regarded as the most unclean and the most abhorred of all animals (Lev. 11:7; Isa. 65:4; 66:3, 17; Luke 15:15, 16). A herd of swine were drowned in the Sea of Galilee (Luke 8:32, 33). Spoken of figuratively in Matt. 7:6 (see Prov. 11:22). It is frequently mentioned as a wild animal, and is evidently the wild boar (Arab. khanzir), which is common among the marshes of the Jordan valley (Ps. 80:13).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see cast pearls before swine.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
The swine flu pandemic highlights a decades-old problem: industrial animal farming poses serious public health risks.
The first doses of vaccine for the swine flu began arriving.
Vaccines being made to protect people from swine flu may not be so healthy for
  threatened species of sharks.
Vaccines already exist for swine and chicken coronaviruses.
Idioms & Phrases
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