swear [ swer ] (past tense swore [ swɔr ] ; past participle sworn [ swɔrn ] ) verb **
1. ) intransitive to use words that are deliberately offensive, for example because you are angry with someone:
That's the first time I've ever heard him swear.
swear at: She was shouting and swearing at everyone.
swear profusely: I hammered my thumb and then swore profusely.
a ) swear like a trooper INFORMAL to swear a lot
2. ) transitive to make a sincere statement that you are telling the truth:
swear (that): I swear that's how it happened.
She swears that this is the man who attacked her.
a ) transitive to make a promise to do something:
swear (that): You swore that you would never see her again.
swear to do something: He swore to stay out of politics when he retired.
swear vengeance against/on someone (=promise to punish them): Marshall swore vengeance against his brother's killers.
b ) intransitive or transitive to make a formal promise to be loyal or to tell the truth:
Members have to swear an oath of secrecy.
swear (your) allegiance to someone (=promise to be loyal): They have to swear allegiance to the Queen.
c ) swear to God or swear on my life/the Bible etc. SPOKEN used for emphasizing strongly that you are telling the truth:
I swear to God I was never at that place.
could have sworn SPOKEN
used for saying that you are sure that something happened:
I could have sworn I already paid that bill.
swear someone to secrecy/silence
to make someone promise not to tell anyone else what you have told them
swear up and down AMERICAN
used for emphasizing that something is true:
He swore up and down that he had never tried drugs.
`swear ,by phrasal verb transitive INFORMAL
swear by something to believe that something is effective:
My father swears by whiskey as a cure for a cold.
,swear `in phrasal verb transitive
to make someone give a formal promise in a law court or at an official ceremony:
He was sworn in as president.
,swear `off phrasal verb transitive
swear off something to promise to stop doing or using something:
The headache I got was almost enough to make me swear off wine forever.
`swear to phrasal verb transitive usually in negatives
swear to something to be completely certain of something:
I can't swear to it, but I think I saw Joan yesterday.

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • swear — S2 [sweə US swer] v past tense swore [swo: US swo:r] past participle sworn [swo:n US swo:rn] ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(offensive language)¦ 2¦(promise)¦ 3¦(state the truth)¦ 4 somebody could have sworn (that) ... 5¦(public promise)¦ 6 swear somebody to… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • swear — ► VERB (past swore; past part. sworn) 1) state or promise solemnly or on oath. 2) compel to observe a certain course of action: I am sworn to secrecy. 3) use offensive or obscene language, especially to express anger. ● swear blind Cf. ↑ …   English terms dictionary

  • Swear — Swear, v. i. [imp. {Swore}, formerly {Sware}; p. p. {Sworn}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Swearing}.] [OE. swerien, AS. swerian; akin to D. zweren, OS. swerian, OHG. swerien, G. schw[ o]ren, Icel. sverja, Sw. sv[ a]rja, Dan. sv[ae]rge, Icel. & Sw. svara to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Swear — Swear, v. t. 1. 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. [1913 Webster] Swear unto me here by God, that thou wilt not deal falsely with me. Gen. xxi. 23.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • swear — vb swore, sworn, swear·ing [Old English swerian] vt 1: to utter or take solemnly swear an oath 2 a: to assert as true or promise under oath a sworn affidavit …   Law dictionary

  • swear — [swer] vi. swore, sworn, swearing [ME swerien < OE swerian, akin to Ger schwören < IE base * swer , to speak > OSlav svariti, to revile] 1. to make a solemn declaration with an appeal to God or to something held sacred for confirmation… …   English World dictionary

  • Swear — may refer to: * Swearing: to utter an oath or Profanity * The Swear (band) * Swear , a single by Sheena Easton * Swear , a 1980s single by Tim Scott / Tim Scott McConnell * SWEAR or S***R, the London based footwear brand. Check their official… …   Wikipedia

  • swear to — To affirm or identify on oath • • • Main Entry: ↑swear * * * ˈswear to [transitive] usually in negatives [present tense I/you/we/they swear to he/she/it swears to …   Useful english dictionary

  • swear — [v1] declare under oath affirm, assert, attest, avow, covenant, cross one’s heart*, depend on, depose, give one’s word*, give witness, have confidence in, maintain, make an affidavit, pledge oneself, plight, promise, rely on, say so*, state,… …   New thesaurus

  • swear — O.E. swerian take an oath (class VI strong verb; past tense swor, pp. sworen), from P.Gmc. *swarjanan, from root *swar (Cf. O.S. swerian, O.N. sverja, Dan. sverge, O.Fris. swera, M.Du. swaren, O.H.G. swerien, Ger. schwören, Goth …   Etymology dictionary

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