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From Middle English swiken, from Old English swīcan (to wander, depart, cease from, yield, give way, fail, fall short, be wanting, abandon, desert, turn traitor, deceive, rebel), from Proto-Germanic *swīkaną, *swīkwaną (to dodge, swerve, avoid, betray), from Proto-Indo-European *sweyg-, *swAig- (to turn, move around, wander, swing). Cognate with Scots swike (to cheat, deceive), Middle Low German swīken (to yield, elude, escape), Dutch zwijken (to betray), Middle High German swīchen (to abandon), Swedish svika (to betray, let down, disappoint), Norwegian svike (to betray), Faroese svíkja (to cheat), Icelandic svíkja (to betray).



swike (third-person singular simple present swikes, present participle swiking, simple past swoke, past participle swicken)

  1. (transitive, dialectal or obsolete) To deceive, cheat; betray
  2. (transitive, dialectal or obsolete) To stop, blin, cease


swike (comparative more swike, superlative most swike)

  1. (dialectal or obsolete) Deceitful; treacherous


swike (plural swikes)

  1. (dialectal, chiefly Scotland) Deceit; treachery
  2. (dialectal or obsolete) A deceiver; betrayer, traitor
    • 1848, Baron Edward Bulwer Lytton Lytton, Harold : the Last of the Saxon Kings:
      The Saxon Chronicle contradicts itself as to Algar's outlawry, stating in one passage that he was outlawed without any kind of guilt, and in another that he was outlawed as swike, or traitor, and that he made a confession of it before all the men there gathered.
  3. (dialectal or obsolete) A hiding place; den; cave

Related terms[edit]