- To swerve is to change directions suddenly or to cause to change directions suddenly.
When a deer runs in front of your car and you rapidly turn the wheel to avoid hitting it, this is an example of when youswerve the car and an example of when the car swerves.
transitive verbswerved, swerving
Origin of swerveMiddle English swerven ; from Old English sweorfan, to file away, scour ; from Indo-European base an unverified form swerbh-, to turn, wipe, sweep from source Classical Greek syrphetos, sweepings, litter
tr. & intr.v.swerved swerved, swerv·ing, swerves
Origin of swerveMiddle English swerven, from Old English sweorfan, to rub, scour.
(third-person singular simple present swerves, present participle swerving, simple past and past participle swerved)
- To stray; to wander; to rove.
- To go out of a straight line; to deflect.
- To wander from any line prescribed, or from a rule or duty; to depart from what is established by law, duty, custom, or the like; to deviate.
- To bend; to incline.
- To climb or move upward by winding or turning.
- To turn aside or deviate to avoid impact.
- of a projectile, to travel in a curved line
Old English sweorfan, compare Dutch zwerven.