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[swing-er] /ˈswɪŋ ər/
a person or thing that swings.
Slang. a lively, active, and modern person whose activities are fashionable or trendy.
  1. a person who indulges in promiscuous sex.
  2. a person who engages in the exchanging of spouses for sexual activities.
Origin of swinger
1535-45 for def 1; 1955-60 for def 2; swing1 + -er1


[swinj] /swɪndʒ/
verb (used with object), swinged, swingeing. British Dialect
to thrash; punish.
1250-1300; Middle English swengen to shake, smite, Old English swengan, causative of swingan to swing, or denominative derivative of Old English sweng a blow
Related forms
[swin-jer] /ˈswɪn dʒər/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for swingers
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And with him went the monks and the musicians, and the candle-bearers, and the swingers of censers, and a great company.

British Dictionary definitions for swingers


verb swinges, swingeing, swinging, swinged
(transitive) (archaic) to beat, flog, or punish
Word Origin
Old English swengan; related to Old Frisian swenga to drench, Gothic afswaggwjan to cause to sway; see swing


a person regarded as being modern and lively
a person who swaps sexual partners in a group, esp habitually
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 swingers



"person who is lively in an unrestrained way," 1965, agent noun from swing (v.). With various other slang senses traceable to 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for swingers



  1. A style of white jazz music of the 1930s and '40s, developed from hot jazz and usually played by big bands: That pastime was called Swing, and its king, Benny Goodman, and most of its greatest exponents and exploiters were quartered here in New York (1899+)
  2. An interval between work periods: with two hours' swing in the afternoon for lunch (1943+)


  1. To have a strong but easy and pleasant impetus: Chaucer and Jazz are quite similar; they both swing, they both have the same punch, vitality, and guts (1935+ Musicians)
  2. To perform very well, as a good jazz musician does: It is appropriate that gifted, gravel-voiced Herschel Bernardi should swing eight times a week in this particular hit (1918+)
  3. To have a good time; enjoy oneself hugely, as at a good party (1957+ Black)
  4. To do the sex act, esp promiscuously with various partners either seriatim or at once: The sexual revolution is not new; people have been swinging as long as they are on this earth (1964+)
  5. To be stylish, au courant, sophisticated, etc; be HIP: ''Songs for Swingin' Lovers'' (1961+)
  6. To be a member of a teenage street gang (1960s+ Street gang)
  7. To pull off; execute: Can you swing it
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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