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swift-boat Syllabification: swift-boat

Entry from US English dictionary

Definition of swift-boat in English:


[with object] informal
Target (a politician or public figure) with a campaign of personal attacks: when he got swift-boated, his campaign staffers didn’t sit silently (as noun swift-boating) organized smearing and swift-boating of public figures
More example sentences
  • However we can also lie, spin, smear, defame, swift-boat, and (in one worrying recent case from the sewer) threaten violence.
  • I think the idea that you can go into the general election and expect there not to be any negative attacks, or any effort to sort of swift-boat whoever our candidate is, is not realistic.
  • It is at least an open question as to whether Democrats this year will attempt to match the Republicans in their willingness to "swift-boat".


2004: with allusion to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a political action committee that funded an advertising campaign criticizing 2004 US presidential candidate Senator John Kerry's record of military service aboard a swift boat, a type of US Navy patrol craft, during the Vietnam War.

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