Definition of swift in English:


Syllabification: swift
Pronunciation: /swift



literary except in combination Back to top  
  • Swiftly: streams that ran swift and clear a swift-acting poison


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  • 1A swift-flying insectivorous bird with long slender wings and a superficial resemblance to a swallow, spending most of its life on the wing.
    • Family Apodidae: several genera and numerous species, including the common Eurasian swift (Apus apus)
    More example sentences
    • The White-throated Swift is a large, slender swift with long wings and a narrow tail, usually held closed into a point.
    • Data gathered on the acceleration of swifts and swallows illustrate another compromise: Birds with low wing loading and high aspect ratio suffer from lower acceleration performance.
    • Swallows, swifts and nighthawks, all pursuing flying insects, fly erratically.
  • 2 (also swift moth) A moth, typically yellow-brown in color, with fast darting flight. The eggs are scattered in flight and the larvae live underground feeding on roots, where they can be a serious pest.
    • Family Hepialidae: Hepialus and other genera
  • 3A light, adjustable reel for holding a skein of silk or wool.
    More example sentences
    • Illustrated in the book are other articles made in the Dominy shop for family use, such as a wooden bowl made of a burl from an apple tree and a swift to wind wool yarn.



More example sentences
  • Now my first instinct was to declare it immediately cool and pass swiftly on.
  • She immediately and swiftly reached her own house, using her copy of the key to get into the house.
  • He leaned against a pillar until the line had cleared and swiftly strode to the guard.


More example sentences
  • There has been an impressive swiftness in the way certain clubs are showing themselves willing to invest in home-grown personnel.
  • The reaction to Wayne's comments came with the usual swiftness one might expect in today's atmosphere of political correctness.
  • More than the skill, it was the attitude and swiftness with which the students carried themselves, that dominated the show.


Old English (as an adjective), from the Germanic base of Old English swīfan 'move in a course, sweep.' The bird name dates from the mid 17th century.

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grotesque quality or grotesque things collectively