Dictionary: SWEET-WEED – SWIFT

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A plant of the genus Capraria, and another of the genus Scoparia.


The name of several species of pink, of the genus Dianthus. – Cyc. The Dianthus barbatus, a species of pink of many varieties. – Encyc. Lee.


A plant, the Myrica gale, or Dutch myrtle. – Lee.


A plant, species of Laurus. – Lee.


Any plant of a sweet taste.


  1. Extension of bulk. – Shak.
  2. Increase, as of sound; as, the swell of a note, or the increase and diminution of sound, crescendo and diminuendo, in one continued note.
  3. A gradual ascent or elevation of land; as, an extensive plain abounding with little swells.
  4. A wave or billow; more generally, a succession of large waves; as, a heavy swell sets into the harbor. Swell is also used to denote the waves or fluctuation of the sea after a storm, and the waves that roll in and break upon the shore.
  5. In an organ, a certain number of pipes inclosed in a box, which being uncovered, produce a swell of sound. – Busby.

SWELL, v.i. [pret. swelled; pp. swelled. Swollen is near obsolete. Sax. swellan; D. zwellen; G. schwellen; Dan. svæller; Sw. svälla. Qu. is it not from the verb to well, or its root?]

  1. To grow larger; to dilate or extend the exterior surface or dimensions, by matter added to the interior part, or expansion of the inclosed substance. Thus the legs swell in dropsy; a bruised part swells; a tumor swells; a bladder swells by inflation.
  2. To increase in size or extent by any addition; as, a river swells and overflows its banks.
  3. To rise or be driven into waves or billows. In a tempest, the ocean swells into waves mountain high.
  4. To be puffed up or bloated; as, to swell with pride.
  5. To be bloated with anger; to be exasperated. He swells with rage.
  6. To be inflated; to belly; as, swelling, sails.
  7. To be turgid or bombastic; as, swelling words; a swelling style. – Roscommon.
  8. To protuberate; to bulge out; as, a cask swabs in the middle.
  9. To be elated; to rise into arrogance. Your equal mind yet swells not into state. – Dryden.
  10. To grow more violent; as, a moderate passion may to fury.
  11. To grow upon the view; to become larger. And monarchs to behold the swelling scene. – Shak.
  12. To become larger in amount. Many little debts added, swell to a great amount.
  13. To become louder; as, a sound gradually swells as it approaches.
  14. To strut; to look big. Swelling like a turky-cock. – Shak.
  15. To rise in altitude; as, land swells into hills.

SWELL, v.t.

  1. To increase the size, bulk, or dimensions of; to cause to rise, dilate, or increase. Rains and dissolving snow swell the rivers in spring, and cause floods. Jordan is swelled by the snows of mount Libanus.
  2. To aggravate; to highten. It is low ebb with the accuser, when such peccadillos are put to swell the charge. – Atterbury.
  3. To raise to arrogance; as, to be swelled with pride or haughtiness.
  4. To enlarge. These sums swell the amount of taxes to a fearful size. These victories served to swell the fame of the commander.
  5. In music, to augment, as the sound of a note.


Enlarged in bulk; inflated; tumefied.


  1. A tumor, or any morbid enlargement of the natural size; as, a swelling on the hand or leg.
  2. Protuberance; prominence. The superficies of such plates are not even, but have many cavities and swellings. – Newton.
  3. A rising or enlargement by passion; as, the swellings of anger, grief, or pride. – Tatler.


Growing or enlarging in its dimensions; growing tumid; inflating; growing or making louder.


for Swelled, is not in use. – Spenser.

SWELT, v.i. [Sax. sweltan; Guth. swiltan; ga-swiltan, to perish, to die; properly, to fail, to swoon. Qu. is not this formed on the root of wilt?]

To faint; to swoon. [Obs.] – Chaucer.

SWELT, v.t.

To overpower, as with heat; to cause to faint. [Obs.] [We now use swelter.] Hall.

SWELT'ER, v.i. [from swelt.]

To be overcome and faint with heat; to be ready to perish with heat.

SWELT'ER, v.t.

To oppress with heat. – Bentley.


Oppressed with heat.


Fainting or languishing with heat; oppressing with heat.


Suffocating with heat; oppressive with heat; sultry. [See Sultry, which is probably a contraction of sweltry.]

SWEPT, v. [pret. and pp. of Sweep.]

SWERD, n. [or v. for Sward, is not in use.]

SWERVE, v.i. [swerv; D. zwerven, to swerve, to rove. In sense it coincides with the verb to swarm, and in German it is rendered schwärmen. It seems to be formed on warp, and all may spring from the root of veer. See Vary.]

  1. To wander; to rove. Sidney. The swerving vines on the tall elms prevail. – Dryden.
  2. To wander from any line prescribed, or from a rule of duty; to depart from what is established by law, duty, or custom; to deviate. I swerve not from thy commandments. – Com. Prayer. They swerve from the strict letter of the law. Clarendon. Many who, through the contagion of evil example, swerve exceedingly from the rules of their holy religion. – Atterbury.
  3. To bend; to incline.
  4. To climb or move forward by winding or turning. The tree was high, / Yet nimbly up from bough to bough I swerv'd. – Dryden. [This use of the word coincides with that of swarm, – which see.]


The act of wandering; deviation from any rule, law, duty, or standard.


Roving; wandering; deviating from any rule or standard; inclining; climbing or moving by winding and turning.

SWIFT, a. [Sax. swift, from swifan, to turn, to rove, to wander, to whirl round; D. zweeven, to rove, to hover, to fluctuate; Dan. svæver; Sw. sväfva; G. schweben, to wave, soar, or hover. The latter appear to be formed on the root of wave. See Swivel and Waft.]

  1. Moving a great distance, or over a large space in a short time; moving with celerity or velocity; fleet; rapid; quick; speedy. We say, swift winds, a swift stream, swift lightnings, swift motion, swift as thought, a fowl swift of wing, a man swift of foot. Swift is applicable to any kind of motion.
  2. Ready; prompt. Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. – James i.
  3. Speedy; that comes without delay. There shall be false teachers among you, who shall privily bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. – 2 Pet. ii.