From Middle English sweren, swerien, from Old English swerian (“to swear, take an oath of office”), from Proto-Germanic *swarjaną (“to speak, swear”), from Proto-Indo-European *swer- (“to speak, talk”). Cognate with West Frisian swarre (“to swear”), Eastern Frisian swera (“to swear”), Dutch zweren (“to swear, vow”), Low German swören (“to swear”), sweren, German schwören (“to swear”), Danish sværge, Swedish svära (“to swear”), Icelandic sverja (“to swear”). Also cognate to Albanian var (“to hang, consider, to depend from”) through Proto-Indo-European.
- See also Wikisaurus:swearword
- In sense 1, this is a catenative verb that takes the to infinitive. See Appendix:English catenative verbs
- See also Wikisaurus:swear
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
swear (plural swears)
- A swearword.
From Middle English swer, swar, from Old English swǣr, swār (“heavy, heavy as a burden, of great weight, oppressive, grievous, painful, unpleasant, sad, feeling or expressing grief, grave, slow, dull, sluggish, slothful, indolent, inactive from weakness, enfeebled, weak”), from Proto-Germanic *swēraz (“heavy”), from Proto-Indo-European *swēr- (“heavy”). Cognate with West Frisian swier (“heavy”), Dutch zwaar (“heavy, hard, difficult”), German schwer (“heavy, hard, difficult”), Swedish svår (“heavy, hard, severe”), Latin sērius (“earnest, grave, solemn, serious”) and Albanian varrë (“wound,plague”).
- (UK dialectal) Heavy.
- (UK dialectal) Top-heavy; too high.
- (UK dialectal) Dull; heavy; lazy; slow; reluctant; unwilling.
- (UK dialectal) Niggardly.
- (UK dialectal) A lazy time; a short rest during working hours (especially field labour); a siesta.