From Middle English sweem, sweme, swem (“a dizziness”), from Old Norse sveimr (“a bustle, stir”), from Proto-Germanic *swaimaz (“a moving to and fro, a sway”), from Proto-Indo-European *swey- (“to twist, swing”). Cognate with Old Norse svími (“dizziness, fainting”) (Danish svime (“a swoon”)), Dutch zwijm (“a swoon, fainting fit”), Old English swīma (“vertigo, dizziness, a swoon”). More at swim.
sweam (plural sweams)
- (dialectal) A swimming of the head; a fainting fit; a swoon.
- (dialectal) A sudden qualm of sickness.