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Definition of "swan" []

  • Any of various large aquatic birds of the family Anatidae chiefly of the genera Cygnus and Olor, having webbed feet, a long slender neck, and usually white plumage. (noun)
  • See Cygnus. (noun)
  • Chiefly British To travel around from place to place: "Swanning around Europe nowadays, are we?” ( Jeffrey Archer). (verb-intransitive)
  • Chiefly Southern U.S. To declare; swear. Used in the phrase I swan as an interjection. See Regional Note at vum. (verb-intransitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "swan" in a sentence
  • "For instance, use of the term swan-upping is always greeted with a smile in England."
  • "And something about our culture too, since people seem to assume that scientists are much smarter than non-scientists, even though that isn't necessarily the case (I'd say maybe differently smart). bamboo: Yeah, the the "ugly duckling" smart woman who takes off her glasses and takes her hair out of a bun to become a swan is a movie cliché that I hope I never see again (and I assume you mean that your wife is hot, not ugly with no social skills.) ed t: Doesn't his co-worker Leslie fit that bill?"
  • ""Let fly, then," says I, "in the name of God!" and with that I fired again among the amazed wretches, and so did Friday; and as our pieces were now loaded with what I call swan-shot, or small pistol-bullets, we found only two drop; but so many were wounded that they ran about yelling and screaming like mad creatures, all bloody, and most of them miserably wounded; whereof three more fell quickly after, though not quite dead."