- To swear is to speak using bad or rude language.
An example of to swear is exclaim “shit” when something bad happens.
- To swear is to make a promise.
- An example of to swear is to take an oath on the Bible in a courtroom.
- An example of to swear is to take a vow not to tell a secret.
A man swears an oath in court.
intransitive verbswore, sworn, swearing
- to make a solemn declaration with an appeal to God or to something held sacred for confirmation: to swear on one's honor
- to make a solemn promise; vow
- to use profane or obscene language; curse
- Law to give evidence under oath
Origin of swearMiddle English swerien ; from Old English swerian, akin to German schwören ; from Indo-European base an unverified form swer-, to speak from source Old Church Slavonic svariti, to revile
- to declare solemnly in the name of God or of something held sacred
- to pledge or vow on oath
- to assert or promise with great conviction or emphasis
- to take (an oath) by swearing
- to administer a legal oath to
- to name (something held sacred) in taking an oath
- to have great faith or confidence in
verbswore swore , sworn sworn , swear·ing, swears
- To make a solemn declaration, invoking a deity or a sacred person or thing, in confirmation of and witness to the honesty or truth of such a declaration.
- To make a solemn promise; vow.
- To use obscene or blasphemous language; curse.
- Law To commit oneself by oath to giving evidence or testimony that is truthful.
- a. To declare or affirm solemnly by invoking a deity or a sacred person or thing: swore on the Bible that he would tell the truth.b. To say or affirm earnestly and with great conviction: I swear that I will pay you back.
- To promise or pledge with a solemn oath; vow: He swore to do his duty. See Synonyms at promise.
- To utter or bind oneself to (an oath).
- Law To administer a legal oath to: All the witnesses have been sworn.
Origin of swearMiddle English sweren, from Old English swerian; see swer- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present swears, present participle swearing, simple past swore, past participle sworn)
- In sense 1, this is a catenative verb that takes the to infinitive.
From Middle English sweren, swerien, from Old English swerian (“to swear, take an oath of office"), from Proto-Germanic *swarjanÄ… (“to speak, swear"), from Proto-Indo-European *swer- (“to speak, talk"). Cognate with West Frisian swarre (“to swear"), Eastern Frisian swera (“to swear"), Dutch zweren (“to swear, vow"), Low German swÃ¶ren (“to swear"), sweren, German schwÃ¶ren (“to swear"), Danish svÃ¦rge, Swedish svÃ¤ra (“to swear"), Icelandic sverja (“to swear"). Also cognate to Albanian var (“to hang, consider, to depend from") through Proto-Indo-European.
- A swearword.
(comparative swearer or more swear, superlative swearest or most swear)
(third-person singular simple present swears, present participle swearing, simple past and past participle sweared)
- (UK dialectal) To be lazy; rest for a short while during working hours.
From Middle English swer, swar, from Old English swÇ£r, swÄr (“heavy, heavy as a burden, of great weight, oppressive, grievous, painful, unpleasant, sad, feeling or expressing grief, grave, slow, dull, sluggish, slothful, indolent, inactive from weakness, enfeebled, weak"), from Proto-Germanic *swÄ“raz (“heavy"), from Proto-Indo-European *swÄ“r- (“heavy"). Cognate with West Frisian swier (“heavy"), Dutch zwaar (“heavy, hard, difficult"), German schwer (“heavy, hard, difficult"), Swedish svÃ¥r (“heavy, hard, severe"), Latin sÄ“rius (“earnest, grave, solemn, serious") and Albanian varrÃ« (“wound,plague").