From Middle English swimmen, from Old English swimman (“to swim, float”) (class III strong verb; past tense swamm, past participle geswummen), from Proto-Germanic *swimmaną (“to swoon, lose consciousness, swim”). Cognate with West Frisian swimme (“to swim, float”), Dutch zwemmen (“to swim”), German schwimmen (“to swim”), Danish svømme (“to swim”), Swedish simma (“to swim”).
- (intransitive, archaic) To float.
- And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim. —2 Kings 6:6 (KJV).
- Why, now, blow wind, swell billow, and swim bark! The storm is up and all is on the hazard. —Wm. Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
- (intransitive) To move through the water, without touching the bottom; to propel oneself in water by natural means.
- (transitive) To traverse (a specific body of water, or a specific distance) by swimming; or, to utilize a specific swimming stroke; or, to compete in a specific swimming event.
- He will attempt to swim the channel.
- For exercise, we like to swim laps around the pool.
- I want to swim the 200-yard breaststroke in the finals.
- (uncommon) To cause to swim.
- Half of the guinea pigs were swum daily.
Derived terms 
swim (plural swims)
- An act or instance of swimming.
- I'm going for a swim.