From Middle English swift, from Old English swift (“swift; quick”), from Proto-Germanic *swiftaz (“swift; quick”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)weyp- (“to twist; wind around”). Cognate with Icelandic svipta (“to pull quickly”), Old English swīfan (“to revolve, sweep, wend, intervene”). More at swivel.
- Fast; quick; rapid.
- 2011 November 12, “International friendly: England 1-0 Spain”, in BBC Sport:
- Spain were provoked into a response and Villa almost provided a swift equaliser when he rounded Hart but found the angle too acute and could only hit the side-netting.
- Capable of moving at high speeds.
swift (plural swifts)
- A small plain-colored bird of the family Apodidae that resembles a swallow and is noted for its rapid flight.
- Any of certain lizards of the genus Sceloporus.
- 1965 (March), Boys' Life (page 52)
- As a guide to start your collection we'd suggest either iguanas, tejus, swifts, basilisks, horned toads or alligator lizards.
- 1965 (March), Boys' Life (page 52)
- (entomology) A moth of the family Hepialidae, swift moth, ghost moth.
- (entomology) Any of various fast-flying hesperiid butterflies.
- 2013 May-June, William E. Conner, “An Acoustic Arms Race”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3, page 206-7:
- Earless ghost swift moths become “invisible” to echolocating bats by forming mating clusters close (less than half a meter) above vegetation and effectively blending into the clutter of echoes that the bat receives from the leaves and stems around them.
- (textiles) A light, collapsible reel used to hold a hank of yarn in order to wind off skeins or balls.
- The main cylinder of a carding-machine.
- (obsolete) The current of a stream.
- (obsolete, poetic) Swiftly.
- c. 1602, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Troylus and Cressida”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene iii]:
- Light boats sail swift, though greater hulks draw deep.
- 1793, Robert Southey, Lord William
- Ply swift and strong the oar.
- African swift (Apus barbatus)
- alpine swift (Tachymarptis melba)
- Andean swift (Aeronautes andecolus)
- ashy-tailed swift (Chaetura andrei)
- band-rumped swift (Chaetura spinicaudus)
- Bates's swift (Apus batesi)
- black swift (Cypseloides niger)
- Blyth's swift (Apus leuconyx)
- Bradfield's swift (Apus bradfieldi)
- chimney swift (Chaetura pelagica)
- common swift (Apus apus)
- Cook's swift (Apus cooki)
- Costa Rican swift (Chaetura fumosa)
- crested swift (Hemiprocnidae spp.)
- dark-rumped swift (Apus acuticauda)
- emerald swift (Sceloporus malachiticus)
- Eurasian swift, European swift (Apus apus)
- fence swift (Sceloporus undulatis)
- Fernando Po swift (Apus sladeniae)
- Forbes-Watson's swift (Apus berliozi)
- fork-tailed swift
- ghost swift (Hepialidae)
- great dusky swift (Cypseloides senex)
- great swift (Hepialus humuli)
- grey-rumped swift (Chaetura cinereiventris)
- little swift (Apus affinis)
- mottled swift (Tachymarptis aequatorialis)
- needle-tailed swift (Hirundapus caudacutus)
- Nyanza swift (Apus niansae)
- orange swift (Triodia sylvina)
- Pacific swift (Apus pacificus)
- pallid swift (Apus pallidus)
- palm swift (Cypsiurus spp.)
- pine swift (Sceloporus undulatus)
- sagebrush swift (Sceloporus graciosus)
- Salim Ali's swift (Apus salimali)
- scarce swift (Schoutedenapus myoptilus)
- Schouteden's swift (Schoutedenapus schoutedeni)
- Sick's swift (Chaetura meridionalis)
- sooty swift (Cypseloides fumigatus)
- spine-tailed swift (Hirundapus caudacutus)
- spot-fronted swift (Cypseloides cherriei)
- Swift Current
- swift fox (Vulpes velox)
- swift fruit bat (Thoopterus nigrescens)
- swift moth
- swiftlet (Apodidae spp.)
- swift parrot (Lathamus discolor)
- tree swift, treeswift (Hemiprocnidae spp.)
- white-chested swift (Cypseloides lemosi)
- white-chinned swift (Cypseloides cryptus)
- white-collared swift (Streptoprocne zonaris)
- white-naped swift (Streptoprocne semicollaris)
- white-throated swift (Aeronautes saxatalis)
- white-tipped swift (Aeronautes montivagus)
From the verb swīfan.
- English: swift