Definition of swag in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /swaɡ/


1A curtain or piece of fabric fastened so as to hang in a drooping curve.
Example sentences
  • In fact, to listen to her, you would think the flesh hung from her shoulders like swags from a curtain rail.
  • Top treatments can run the gamut from elaborate swags to a simple piece of fabric tossed casually across a wooden drapery pole.
  • Hence the bewildering array of prime-time programmes showing inept plumbers caught on CCTV or grown men making curtain swags out of potato sacks.
1.1A decorative garland or chain of flowers, foliage, or fruit fastened so as to hang in a drooping curve: swags of holly and mistletoe
More example sentences
  • Even on the street itself are votive shrines set into the wall, lovingly adorned with plastic flowers or swags of neon lights.
  • They are decorated with stylised masks on cartouches, from which there extend swags carrying fruit.
  • Nurseries are stocked with greenery - garlands, wreaths, and conifer swags - for adorning a door, gate, or wall over a fireplace.
1.2A carved or painted representation of a swag of flowers, foliage, or fruit: fine plaster swags
More example sentences
  • The squeegee method creates looping swags of paint which resemble fabric folds, or even, at times, X-ray images of rib cages.
  • The boardroom is highly traditional: it is panelled in a late 17 th-century fashion, with pedimented doorways and some rather fine carved swags.
  • Position and stitch a swag and holiday motif over the seam as shown.
2 informal Money or goods taken by a thief or burglar: their homes offer tempting swag for burglars
2.1Products given away free, typically for promotional purposes: local studios provide swag, spirits, and food
More example sentences
  • Nothing gets a teacher's attention like free swag for her/his students.
  • It was a disappointing show in terms of swag.
  • The beautiful people then relocated to a private Gift Lounge inside where they "shopped" for free swag to make themselves even more beautiful.
2.2chiefly US Marijuana, typically of a low grade: prices range from $40 a 10-seed packet for some Jamaican swag to $345 per pack for something tastier
More example sentences
  • I smoke swag but I obviously prefer the stronger stuff.
  • It's difficult to imagine him as anything but the Dean of Students, as some lowly history major puffing on swag.
  • I recently quit smoking swag all together.
3US informal A very confident attitude or manner: she’s got swag and personality for days
4Australian/New Zealand A traveler’s or miner’s bundle of personal belongings.
Example sentences
  • During the Depression when you were a young girl, a very young girl in fact, of course this was still a period when men with swags walked the country roads in search of a job, in search of a meal.
  • Elders climb stiffly out of the bus, while the young ones unload swags off the top.
  • The only thing I could do was make for the revolver that was in my swag.
4.1 informal A large number, amount, or variety: the seller left a swag of unpaid bills
More example sentences
  • To put it bluntly, I get a swag of emails from league fans - including fans living in Brisbane - who think the Broncos are ‘up themselves!’
  • Last year the band received a nomination for Best Live Act at the Australian Live Music Awards as well as doing a swag of gigs around the country including the Big Day Out.
  • No apologies for the stroke of fortune, just as there was no real complaint in 1998 when Labor picked up more votes nationwide but was unable to crack a swag of narrowly-held marginal seats.

verb (swags, swagging, swagged)

[with object]
1Arrange in or decorate with a swag or swags of fabric: swag the fabric gracefully over the curtain tie-backs (as adjective swagged) the swagged contours of nomads' tents
More example sentences
  • Tiny flower prints or gingham for a casual country look, swagged silky fabric, bright or pastel tissue paper for more formal occasions.
  • Silk and velvet fabrics were draped, swagged, or suspended from ceilings to achieve a graceful yet ordered effect.
  • Be sure you have enough fabric to swag gently across the bed and behind the headboard or mattress.
2Australian/New Zealand Travel with one’s personal belongings in a bundle: swagging it in Queensland swagging my way up to the Northern Territory
3 [no object] chiefly literary Hang heavily: the crinkly old hide swags here and there
3.1Sway from side to side: the stout chief sat swagging from one side of the carriage to the other


Middle English (in the sense 'bulging bag'): probably of Scandinavian origin. The original sense of the verb (early 16th century) was 'cause to sway or sag'.

Words that rhyme with swag

bag, blag, brag, Bragg, crag, dag, drag, flag, gag, hag, jag, lag, mag, nag, quag, rag, sag, scrag, slag, snag, sprag, stag, tag, wag, zag

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: swag

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.