swear

Definitions

  • Harold prepares to swear his oath in front of the court
    Harold prepares to swear his oath in front of the court
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v swear have confidence or faith in "We can trust in God","Rely on your friends","bank on your good education","I swear by my grandmother's recipes"
    • v swear utter obscenities or profanities "The drunken men were cursing loudly in the street"
    • v swear promise solemnly; take an oath
    • v swear to declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true "Before God I swear I am innocent"
    • v swear make a deposition; declare under oath
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Hannibal, whilst even yet a child, swears eternal hatred to the Romans Hannibal, whilst even yet a child, swears eternal hatred to the Romans

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: On average, a car driver will swear or blashpheme 32,025 times in their lifetime while driving
    • Swear To affirm or utter a solemn declaration, with an appeal to God for the truth of what is affirmed; to make a promise, threat, or resolve on oath; also, to affirm solemnly by some sacred object, or one regarded as sacred, as the Bible, the Koran, etc. "Ye shall swear by my name falsely.""I swear by all the Roman gods."
    • Swear To appeal to by an oath. "Now, by Apollo, king,
      Thou swear'st thy gods in vain."
    • Swear To declare or charge upon oath; as, he swore treason against his friend.
    • Swear (Law) To give evidence on oath; as, to swear to the truth of a statement; he swore against the prisoner.
    • Swear To make an appeal to God in an irreverant manner; to use the name of God or sacred things profanely; to call upon God in imprecation; to curse. "I swore little; diced not above seven times a week."
    • Swear (Law) To put to an oath; to cause to take an oath; to administer an oath to; -- ofetn followed by in or into; as, to swear witnesses; to swear a jury; to swear in an officer; he was sworn into office.
    • Swear To utter or affirm with a solemn appeal to God for the truth of the declaration; to make (a promise, threat, or resolve) under oath. "Swear unto me here by God, that thou wilt not deal falsely with me.""He swore consent to your succession."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: At Andrew Jackson's funeral in 1845, his pet parrot had to be removed because it was swearing.
    • swear To affirm or utter a solemn declaration, with an appeal to God or to some superhuman being in confirmation of what is affirmed; declare or affirm something in a solemn manner by some sacred being or object, as the Bible or the Koran.
    • swear To promise something upon oath; vow; make a promise in a solemn manner.
    • swear To give evidence or make any statement on oath or with an oath; also, to declare solemnly, without an oath, as to the truth of something.
    • swear To use profane language; be profane; practise profaneness; use the name or names of God irreverently in common conversation; utter profane oaths; curse.
    • swear To be incongruous or inharmonious (with): followed by at: often said of colors.
    • swear To utter or affirm with a solemn appeal to God, a divinity, or something held to be sacred for the truth of the declaration: as, to swear an oath.
    • swear To promise in a solemn manner; vow.
    • swear To put to an oath; cause to take an oath; bind by an oath: as, to swear witnesses in court; to swear a jury.
    • swear To declare or charge upon oath: as, to swear treason against a man.
    • swear To appeal to by an oath; call to witness.
    • swear To utter in a profane manner.
    • n swear An oath.
    • swear See sweer.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In 1845, President Andrew Jackson's pet parrot was removed from his funeral for swearing.
    • v.i Swear swār to affirm, calling God to witness: to give evidence on oath: to utter the name of God or of sacred things profanely
    • v.t Swear to utter, calling God to witness: to administer an oath to: to declare on oath:—pa.t. swōre; pa.p. sworn
    • ***

Quotations

  • Mark Twain
    Mark%20Twain
    “When angry, count four; when very angry, swear.”
  • Sydney Smith
    Sydney%20Smith
    “Madam, I have been looking for a person who disliked gravy all my life; let us swear eternal friendship.”
  • Langston Hughes
    Langston Hughes
    “I swear to the Lord, I still can't see, why Democracy means, everybody but me.”
  • Johann Friedrich Von Schiller
    Johann%20Friedrich%20Von%20Schiller
    “Utility is the great idol of the age, to which all powers must do service and all talents swear allegiance.”
  • Gutzkow
    Gutzkow
    “There must be hearts which know the depths of our being, and swear by us, even when the whole world forsakes us.”
  • Billy Boy Franklin
    Billy Boy Franklin
    “If a lie is repeated often enough all the dumb jackasses in the world not only get to believe it, they even swear by it.”

Idioms

Swear like a sailor - Someone who is foul-mouthed and uses bad language all the time, swears like a sailor.
***
Swear like a trooper - Someone who is foul-mouthed and uses bad language all the time, swears like a trooper.
***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. swerien, AS. swerian,; akin to D. zweren, OS. swerian, OHG. swerien, G. schwören, Icel. sverja, Sw. svärja, Dan. sværge, Icel. & Sw. svara, to answer, Dan. svare, Dan. & Sw. svar, an answer, Goth. swaran, to swear, and perhaps to E. swarm,. √177. Cf. Answer

Usage

In literature:

They all lie, and swear, and deceive.
"The Women of the Arabs" by Henry Harris Jessup
To be plain, he studies swearing.
"Certain Personal Matters" by H. G. Wells
Then he heard her swearing softly and tensely at the painful result.
"The Way of the Wild" by F. St. Mars
Allow me here to mention that I permit my people to swear by all the persons of the Roman mythology.
"The House by the Church-Yard" by J. Sheridan Le Fanu
Swear it now; say, 'So help me, God, I haven't seen anybody on the beach but you.
"Dead Man's Rock" by Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
Men swear by it and men juggle with it.
"Explanation of Catholic Morals" by John H. Stapleton
As tempting as Venus and a good deal livelier, I'll swear.
"Madame Flirt" by Charles E. Pearce
I've half a mind to swear I'll never draw it again.
"Phineas Redux" by Anthony Trollope
They who swear by, or to the Lord, and swear by Malcham, are threatened to be cut off.
"The Covenants And The Covenanters" by Various
Grant it, and I will swear that you have granted me everything.
"Can You Forgive Her?" by Anthony Trollope
He bade me stay, swearing that I was an honest fellow and no Papist, as were some he knew.
"Simon Dale" by Anthony Hope
In the next place, never swear or drink spirits.
"Peter Simple" by Frederick Marryat
Ask if him swear Ben no git hurt.
"Frank Merriwell's Pursuit" by Burt L. Standish
I swear that as truly as I ever spoke.
"Janet of the Dunes" by Harriet T. Comstock
There were two persons there who were prepared to swear that on a certain day they had only signed one deed.
"Orley Farm" by Anthony Trollope
Sunday "swearing, drinking, gambling, and fighting".
"The Shirley Letters from California Mines in 1851-52" by Louise Amelia Knapp Smith Clappe
She wasn't the sort of woman who'd readily take to swearing.
"Lalage's Lovers" by George A. Birmingham
But did you swear, did that sweet creature swear?
"The Comedies of William Congreve Volume 1 [of 2]" by William Congreve
And he used to swear, and it's wicked to swear.
"Absolution" by Clara Viebig
She would swear and had sworn any number of oaths.
"Lady Anna" by Anthony Trollope
***

In poetry:

I loved a woman with love well tried,--
And I swear I believe she loves me still.
But it was not I who stood by her side
When she answered the priest and said "I will."
"On Pitz Languard" by John Hay
If a ghost should come a ghost will go:
No more the lady said,
Save that ever when he in wrath began
To swear by the faith of a living man,
She answered him, You are dead.
"The Young Princess -- A Ballad Of Old Laws Of Love" by George Meredith
Theron: I thought you said . . nay, I will swear you said . .
More than one heard it . . that you could not wish
The nearest to your heart more perfect joy
Than Theron's love.
"Theron And Zoe" by Walter Savage Landor
So, then, you cannot wed me now
That roses and the June are here,
That warmth and fragrance weigh each bough?
And yet your reason is not clear.
Ah, well! We'll swear anew each vow,
And wait another year.
"One Day And Another: A Lyrical Eclogue – Part I" by Madison Julius Cawein
You whom I could not save
Listen to me.
Try to understand this simple speech as I would be ashamed of another.
I swear, there is in me no wizardry of words.
I speak to you with silence like a cloud or a tree.
"Dedication" by Czeslaw Milosz
Welcome, ah! welcome, my poor heart!
Welcome! I little thought, I'll swear
('T is now so long since we did part),
Ever again to see thee here:
Dear wanderer! Since from me you fled,
How often have I heard that thou wert dead!
"The Welcome" by Abraham Cowley

In news:

All you know is that Zelly has woken up to find a note swearing her to secrecy and attached to an empty orange juice jug on her nightstand.
If a swearing stuffed animal isn't your game.
Many swear by their technique and ingredients.
He loves sex, but nonetheless swears off it out of fear of AIDS.
Downtown Taunton property owner swears by solar panels.
If you swear too much online or use words like "die," "kill," or "bury" a lot, you might have psychopathic tendencies, the research found.
Washington's 26-3 win over Dallas at RFK Stadium is one of the greatest wins in Redskins history, and I know many Redskins fans who swear it was — or was not — broadcast in the DC area.
F or some, the word " revisionist " is akin to a swear word.
New US Citizens recite the oath of allegiance during a swearing-in ceremony held in Redwood City, Calif, on Wednesday, Sept 19, 2012.
According to a new study out of Keele University in Staffordshire, England, there's now scientific proof that swearing is actually an effective painkiller.
A new workplace survey finds many people resort to swearing on the job.
A big-time Republican donor was on a password-protected inauguration Web site the other day, trying to buy a couple of $150 tickets for the swearing-in.
My mom sent me this video, and her friend swears by it.
Salamworld, a Facebook-style website designed for Muslims, will take down posts with swear words.
So incredible you'd swear your eyes are Playing tricks on you.
***