1 [swing]
verb (used with object), swung, swinging.
to cause to move to and fro, sway, or oscillate, as something suspended from above: to swing one's arms in walking.
to cause to move in alternate directions or in either direction around a fixed point, on an axis, or on a line of support, as a door on hinges.
to move (the hand or something held) with an oscillating or rotary movement: to swing one's fists; to swing a club around one's head.
Aeronautics. to pull or turn (a propeller) by hand, especially in order to start the engine.
to turn in a new direction in a curve, as if around a central point: to swing the car into the driveway.
to suspend so as to hang freely, as a hammock or a door.
Informal. to influence or win over; manage or arrange as desired: to swing votes; to swing a business deal.
to direct, change, or shift (one's interest, opinion, support, etc.).
to turn (a ship or aircraft) to various headings in order to check compass deviation.
verb (used without object), swung, swinging.
to move or sway to and fro, as a pendulum or other suspended object.
to move to and fro in a swing, as for recreation.
to move in alternate directions or in either direction around a point, an axis, or a line of support, as a gate on its hinges.
to move in a curve, as around a corner or central point: The highway swings to the east.
to move with a free, swaying motion, as soldiers on the march.
to be suspended so as to hang freely, as a bell or hammock.
to move by grasping a support with the hands and drawing up the arms or using the momentum of the swaying body: a monkey swinging through trees.
to change or shift one's attention, interest, opinion, condition, etc.: He swung from mere indifference to outright scorn.
to hit at someone or something, with the hand or something grasped in the hand: The batter swung and struck out.
to be characterized by a modern, lively atmosphere: Las Vegas swings all year.
to be stylish, trendy, hip, etc., especially in pursuing enjoyment.
to engage uninhibitedly in sexual activity.
(of married couples) to exchange partners for sexual activity.
Informal. to suffer death by hanging: He'll swing for the crime.
the act, manner, or progression of swinging; movement in alternate directions or in a particular direction.
the amount or extent of such movement: to correct the swing of a pendulum.
a curving movement or course.
a moving of the body with a free, swaying motion, as in walking.
a blow or stroke with the hand or an object grasped in the hands: His swing drove the ball over the fence.
a change or shift in attitude, opinion, behavior, etc.
a steady, marked rhythm or movement, as of verse or music.
a regular upward or downward movement in the price of a commodity or of a security, or in any business activity.
a work period coming between the regular day and night shifts.
a change by a group of workers from working one shift to working another.
freedom of action: to have free swing in carrying out a project.
active operation; progression: to get into the swing of things.
something that is swung or that swings.
a seat suspended from above by means of a loop of rope or between ropes or rods, on which one may sit and swing to and fro for recreation.
the maximum diameter of the work machinable in a certain lathe or other machine tool.
of or relating to a swing.
capable of determining the outcome, as of an election; deciding: the swing vote.
designed or constructed to permit swinging or hanging.
acting to relieve other workers when needed, as at night.
in full swing, operating at the highest speed or level of activity; in full operation: Automobile production is in full swing.
swing round the circle, to tour an area on a political campaign.
take a swing at, to strike or attempt to strike with the fist: to take a swing at a rude waiter.

before 900; Middle English swingen (v.), Old English swingan; cognate with German schwingen

swingable, adjective

10. Swing, sway, oscillate, rock suggest a movement back and forth. Swing expresses the comparatively regular motion to and fro of a body supported from the end or ends, especially from above: A lamp swings from the ceiling. To sway is to swing gently and is used especially of fixed objects or of persons: Young oaks sway in the breeze. Oscillate refers to the smooth, regular, alternating movement of a body within certain limits between two fixed points. Rock indicates the slow and regular movement back and forth of a body, as on curved supports: A cradle rocks. 21. sway, vibration, oscillation. 22. range, scope, sweep, play.
Dictionary.com Unabridged


2 [swing]
Also called Big Band music, swing music. a style of jazz, popular especially in the 1930s and often arranged for a large dance band, marked by a smoother beat and more flowing phrasing than Dixieland and having less complex harmonies and rhythms than modern jazz.
the rhythmic element that excites dancers and listeners to move in time to jazz music.
of, relating to, or characteristic of swing: a swing record.
verb (used with object), swung, swinging.
to play (music) in the style of swing.

special use of swing1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
swing (swɪŋ)
vb (foll by up) (often foll by at) , swings, swinging, swung
1.  to move or cause to move rhythmically to and fro, as a free-hanging object; sway
2.  (intr) to move, walk, etc, with a relaxed and swaying motion
3.  to pivot or cause to pivot, as on a hinge
4.  to move or cause to move in a curve: the car swung around the bend
5.  to move or cause to move by suspending or being suspended
6.  to hang or be hung so as to be able to turn freely
7.  slang (intr) to be hanged: he'll swing for it
8.  to alter or cause to alter habits, a course, etc
9.  informal (tr) to influence or manipulate successfully: I hope he can swing the deal
10.  to raise or hoist, esp in a sweeping motion
11.  to hit out or strike (at), esp with a sweeping motion
12.  (tr) to wave (a weapon, etc) in a sweeping motion; flourish
13.  to arrange or play (music) with the rhythmically flexible and compulsive quality associated with jazz
14.  (intr) (of popular music, esp jazz, or of the musicians who play it) to have this quality
15.  slang to be lively and modern
16.  slang (intr) to swap sexual partners in a group, esp habitually
17.  (intr) cricket to bowl (a ball) with swing or (of a ball) to move with a swing
18.  to turn (a ship or aircraft) in order to test compass error
19.  slang swing both ways to enjoy sexual partners of both sexes
20.  informal swing the lead to malinger or make up excuses
21.  the act or manner of swinging or the distance covered while swinging: a wide swing
22.  a sweeping stroke or blow
23.  boxing a wide punch from the side similar to but longer than a hook
24.  cricket the lateral movement of a bowled ball through the air
25.  any free-swaying motion
26.  any curving movement; sweep
27.  something that swings or is swung, esp a suspended seat on which a person may sit and swing back and forth
28.  a.  a kind of popular dance music influenced by jazz, usually played by big bands and originating in the 1930s
 b.  (as modifier): swing music
29.  See swingbeat
30.  prosody a steady distinct rhythm or cadence in prose or verse
31.  informal the normal round or pace: get into the swing of things
32.  a.  a fluctuation, as in some business activity, voting pattern etc
 b.  (as modifier) able to bring about a swing in a voting pattern: swing party
 c.  (as modifier) having a mixed voting history, and thus becoming a target for political election campaigners: a swing state
33.  informal (US) free scope; freedom of activity
34.  chiefly (US) a circular tour
35.  (Canadian) a tour of a particular area or region
36.  (Canadian) (in the North) a train of freight sleighs or canoes
37.  go with a swing to go well; be successful
38.  in full swing at the height of activity
39.  swings and roundabouts equal advantages and disadvantages
[Old English swingan; related to Old Frisian swinga, Old High German swingan]

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. swingan "to rush, fling oneself," from P.Gmc. *swenganan (cf. O.S., O.H.G. swingan, O.Fris. swinga, Ger. schwingen "to swing, swingle, oscillate") denoting "violent circulatory motion." The meaning "move freely back and forth" is first recorded 1545. The noun meaning "a stroke with a weapon" is
from 1375; sense of "an apparatus that swings" is first recorded 1687. Meaning "shift of public opinion" is from 1899. The meaning "variety of big dance-band music with a swinging rhythm" is first recorded 1933, though the sense has been traced back to 1888; its heyday was from mid-30s to mid-40s. Swinging "uninhibited" dates from 1958; and swinger "person who is lively in an unrestrained way" is from 1965. Both had various other slang senses traceable to 1590s. Swing shift first recorded 1941, typically 4 p.m. to midnight. Phrase in full swing "in total effect or operation" (1570) is probably from bell-ringing.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

swing definition

A kind of jazz generally played by a “Big Band” and characterized by a lively rhythm suitable for dancing. The bands of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Glenn Miller played swing.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Computing Dictionary

Swing definition

Java's graphical user interface (GUI) package that provides a large collection of widgets (buttons, labels, lists etc.) that behave similarly on different platforms. Swing features "pluggable look & feel", allowing the program to look like a Windows, Motif or Macintosh) application. It is implemented using the {Model View Controller (MVC) architecture and makes extensive use of nested "containers" to control the handling of events such as keystrokes.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idiom beginning with swing, also see get into the swing of things; in full swing; not enough room to swing a car.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
It misses nothing: your swing speed, your launch angle at impact, the ball's
  spin and velocity.
Our first swing was mounted horizontally, allowing for several little ones to
  swing at the same time.
If the swing had not been preserved on videotape, fans might have trouble
  believing it existed.
As a result, commodity prices tend to swing more violently than the prices of
  manufactured goods.
Image for swing
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