From Middle English sweven, from Old English swefn (“sleep, dream, vision”), from Proto-West Germanic *swefn, from Proto-Germanic *swefną, *swefnaz (“sleep”), from Proto-Indo-European *swépnos, *supnós (“dream”), from Proto-Indo-European *swep- (“to sleep”). Cognate with Dutch suf (“drowsy”), Middle High German swēb (“sleep”), Danish søvn (“sleep”), Icelandic svefn (“sleep”), Norwegian søvn (“sleep”), Swedish sömn (“sleep”), Latin somnus (“sleep, slumber, drowsiness”), Sanskrit स्वप्न (svápna), Ancient Greek ὕπνος (húpnos).
sweven (plural swevens)
- (archaic) A dream.
- 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, “xiij”, in Le Morte Darthur, book I (in Middle English):
- The kynge with the honderd knyghtes mette a wonder dreme two nyghtes a fore the bataille / that ther blewe a grete wynde & blewe doun her castels and her townes / and after that cam a water and bare hit all awey / Alle that herd of the sweuen said / it was a token of grete batayll
- (please add an English translation of this quote)
- 1885, Sir Richard Burton (trans.), The Thousand Nights and One Night:
- [The queen] went in to the Sultan and assured him that their daughter had suffered during all her wedding-night from swevens and nightmare.
- (archaic) A vision.
- The Golden Legend
- And then she said: Sir, hast thou seen the sweven that I have seen?
- The Golden Legend
- to move back and forth
- to wander
- to float (on water)
- to float (through the air)
- to remain, to be (in a particular state)
This verb needs an inflection-table template.
- Verwijs, E.; Verdam, J. (1885–1929), “sweven”, in Middelnederlandsch Woordenboek, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, →ISBN
- swevyn, swevon, swevene, swevne, swheven, squeven, sueven, seven, swene
- (Early ME) swefen, suefen, sweoven
sweven (plural swevenes)
- dream (especially a prophetic one)
- c. 1395, John Wycliffe, John Purvey [et al.], transl., Bible (Wycliffite Bible (later version), MS Lich 10.), published c. 1410, Dedis of Apoſtlis 2:17, page 91v, column 2; republished as Wycliffe's translation of the New Testament, Lichfield: Bill Endres, 2010:
- ⁊ it ſchal be in þe laſte daies þe loꝛd ſeiþ · Y ſchal helde out my ſpirit on ech fleiſch · ⁊ ȝoure ſones and ȝoure douȝtris ſchulen p[ꝛo]pheſie ⁊ ȝoure ȝonge men ſchulen ſe viſioūs. ⁊ ȝoure eldris ſchulen dꝛeme ſweuenes
- "And it'll be in the last days, (when) the Lord says: "I'll hold out my Spirit on all the people; your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your elders will dream dreams […]
- (waking) vision, premonition