see also: SWIM, Swim
  • (RP, America) IPA: /swɪm/

swim (swims, present participle swimming; past swam, past participle swum)

  1. (intransitive) To move through the water, without touching the bottom; to propel oneself in water by natural means.
    • 1720, Daniel Defoe, Captain Singleton, London: J. Brotherton, p. 87,
      We were now all upon a Level, as to our travelling; being unshipp’d, for our Bark would swim no farther, and she was too heavy to carry on our Backs […]
  2. (intransitive) To become immersed in, or as if in, or flooded with, or as if with, a liquid
    swimming in self-pity
    a bare few bits of meat swimming in watery sauce
  3. (intransitive) To move around freely because of excess space.
    • 1777, The Poetical Preceptor; Or, a Collection of Select Pieces of Poetry, Etc
      A fam'd Sur-tout he wears, which once was blue, / And his foot swims in a capacious shoe.
  4. (transitive) To traverse (a specific body of water, or a specific distance) by swimming; or, to utilize a specific swimming stroke; or, to compete in a specific swimming event.
    ''For exercise, we like to swim laps around the pool.
    I want to swim the 200-yard breaststroke in the finals.
    • Sometimes he thought to swim the stormy main.
  5. (transitive, uncommon) To cause to swim.
    to swim a horse across a river
    Half of the guinea pigs were swum daily.
  6. (intransitive, archaic) To float.
    sink or swim
    • c. 1599, William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act V, Scene 1,
      Why, now, blow wind, swell billow, and swim bark!
      The storm is up and all is on the hazard.
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible, 2 Kings 6:6,
      And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim.
  7. (intransitive) To be overflowed or drenched.
    • Psalm VI:6 (KJV)
      I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.
    • Sudden the ditches swell, the meadows swim.
  8. (transitive) To immerse in water to make the lighter parts float.
    to swim wheat in order to select seed
  9. (transitive, historical) To test (a suspected witch) by throwing into a river; those who floated rather than sinking were deemed to be witches.
  10. (intransitive) To glide along with a waving motion.
Translations Noun

swim (plural swims)

  1. An act or instance of swimming.
    I'm going for a swim.
  2. The sound, or air bladder, of a fish.
  3. (UK) A part of a stream much frequented by fish.
  4. A dance move of the 1960s in which the arms are moved in a freestyle swimming manner.
Translations Noun

swim (plural swims)

  1. A dizziness; swoon.

swim (swims, present participle swimming; past swam, past participle swum)

  1. (intransitive) To be dizzy or vertiginous; have a giddy sensation; to have, or appear to have, a whirl motion.
    My head was swimming after drinking two bottles of cheap wine.


  1. (internet slang, text messaging) Abbreviation of someone#English|someone who#English|who isn't#English|isn't me#English|me. used as a way to avoid self-designation or self-incrimination, especially in online drug forums

  1. (internet) Someone who isn't me; someone who isn't myself
    SWIM would like to know how to grow marijuana.

Proper noun
  1. Surname

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