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  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈswæɡ.ə/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈswæɡ.ɚ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æɡə(r)

Etymology 1[edit]

A frequentative form of swag (to sway), first attested in 1590, in A Midsummer Night's Dream III.i.79:[1]

  • PUCK: What hempen homespuns have we swaggering here?


swagger (third-person singular simple present swaggers, present participle swaggering, simple past and past participle swaggered)

  1. To walk with a swaying motion; hence, to walk and act in a pompous, consequential manner.
    • (Can we date this quote by Beaconsfield?)
      a man who swaggers about London clubs
  2. To boast or brag noisily; to be ostentatiously proud or vainglorious; to bluster; to bully.
    • (Can we date this quote by Collier?)
      To be great is not [] to swagger at our footmen.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Jonathan Swift to this entry?)
Derived terms[edit]


swagger (countable and uncountable, plural swaggers)

  1. Confidence, pride.
    • 2012 April 9, Mandeep Sanghera, “Tottenham 1 - 2 Norwich”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      After spending so much of the season looking upwards, the swashbuckling style and swagger of early season Spurs was replaced by uncertainty and frustration against a Norwich side who had the quality and verve to take advantage
  2. A bold or arrogant strut.
    • 1902, Joseph Conrad, chapter I, in Heart of Darkness:
      He steered with no end of a swagger while you were by; but if he lost sight of you, he became instantly the prey of an abject funk, and would let that cripple of a steamboat get the upper hand of him in a minute.
  3. A prideful boasting or bragging.
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 Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Etymology 2[edit]


swagger (plural swaggers)

  1. (Australia, historical) Synonym of swagman


  1. ^ swagger” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2019.