English [ edit ]
Etymology 1 [ edit ]
Middle English , from swimmen Old English swimman ( “ to swim, float ” ) (class III strong verb; past tense swamm, past participle geswummen), from Proto-Germanic *swimmaną ( “ to swoon, lose consciousness, swim ” ), from Proto-Indo-European *swem(bʰ)- ( “ to be unsteady, move, swim ” ). Cognate with Scots , sweem soom ( “ to swim ” ), Saterland Frisian swimme ( “ to swim ” ), West Frisian swimme ( “ to swim, float ” ), Dutch zwemmen ( “ to swim ” ), German schwimmen ( “ to swim ” ), and Norwegian Bokmål Danish svømme ( “ to swim ” ), Swedish simma ( “ to swim ” ), Norwegian Nynorsk symja ( “ to swim ” ).
Pronunciation [ edit ]
swim ( third-person singular simple present , swims present participle , swimming simple past swam or ( archaic ) , swum past participle ) swum
( intransitive , archaic ) To float.
sink or swim
1599, William Shakespeare, , Act V, Scene 1, Julius Caesar
Why, now, blow wind, swell billow, and
swim bark! The storm is up and all is on the hazard.
1611, , King James Version of the Bible 2 Kings 6:6,
And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did
( intransitive ) To move through the water, without touching the bottom; to propel oneself in water by natural means.
1720, Daniel Defoe, , London: J. Brotherton, p. 87, Captain Singleton
We were now all upon a Level, as to our travelling; being unshipp’d, for our Bark would
swim no farther, and she was too heavy to carry on our Backs [… ]
1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess : 
He turned back to the scene before him and the enormous new block of council dwellings. The design was some way after Corbusier but the block was built up on plinths and resembled an Atlantic liner swimming diagonally across the site.
( transitive ) To traverse (a specific body of water, or a specific distance) by swimming; or, to utilize a specific swimming stroke; or, to compete in a specific swimming event.
For exercise, we like to swim laps around the pool.
I want to swim the 200-yard breaststroke in the finals.
Sometimes he thought to
swim the stormy main.
( transitive , uncommon ) To cause to swim.
to swim a horse across a river
Half of the guinea pigs were swum daily.
( intransitive ) To be overflowed or drenched.
Psalm VI:6 (KJV)
I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.
Sudden the ditches swell, the meadows
( transitive ) To immerse in water to make the lighter parts float.
to swim wheat in order to select seed
( transitive , historical ) To test (a suspected witch) by throwing into a river; those who floated rather than sinking were deemed to be witches.
( transitive ) To undergo a giddy sensation.
My head was swimming after drinking two bottles of cheap wine.
Usage notes [ edit ]
In Late Middle English and Early Modern English, the present participle form
swimmand still sometimes occurred in Midlands and Northern dialects, for exampleː
The water to nourish the fish (The Towneley plays) swimmand.
Their young child Troiane, as swift as dolphin fish, (1513, Gavin Douglas, Virgil's Aeneid) swimmand away.
Derived terms [ edit ]
Translations [ edit ]
move through water
please add this translation if you can Afrikaans:
notoj (sq) Arabic:
سَبَحَ ( sabaḥa ) imperfect: يَسْبَحُ ( yasbaḥu )
عام ( ʿām ) Aramaic:
ܣܚܐ ( sħā ) Armenian:
լողալ (hy) ( lołal ) Aromanian:
, anot , not mplãtescu Assamese:
সাঁতোৰা ( xãtüra ), সাঁতোৰ ( xãtür ) Asturian:
, nadar ñadar Avar:
лъедезе ( łedeze ) Azeri:
üzmək (az) Basque:
igeri egin (eu) Belarusian:
( abstract ) пла́ваць impf ( plávacʹ ), папла́ваць pf ( paplávacʹ ), ( concrete ) плыць impf ( plycʹ ), паплы́ць pf ( paplýcʹ ) Bengali:
সাঁতার ( sāṁtār ) Breton:
, neui neuial (br) Bulgarian:
плу́вам (bg) ( plúvam ) Burmese:
ရေကူး (my) ( reku: ) Catalan:
nedar (ca) Chechen:
please add this translation if you can Cherokee:
ᎠᏓᏬᏍᏗ ( adawosdi ) Chinese:
游水 ( jau 4 seoi 2 ) Hakka:
泅水 ( chhiù-súi ), 洗身仔 ( sé-sṳ̂n-é ), 泅水仔 ( chhiù-súi-é ) Mandarin:
游泳 (zh) ( yóuyǒng ) Min Dong:
游水 ( siu jui ) Min Nan:
泅水 (zh-min-nan) ( siû-chúi ) Chuukese:
nutà (co) Czech:
plavat (cs) impf ( abstract ), plout (cs) impf ( concrete ) Danish:
svømme (da) Dutch:
zwemmen (nl) Esperanto:
naĝi (eo) Estonian:
ujuma (et) Faroese:
uida (fi) French:
nager (fr) Friulian:
nadar (gl) Gamilaraay:
შეცურება ( šecureba ) German:
schwimmen (de) Greek:
κολυμπάω (el) ( kolympáo ) Hawaiian:
, ʻauʻau ʻau ( traverse ) Hebrew:
שחה (he) ( sakhá ) Hindi:
तैरना (hi) ( tairnā ) Hungarian:
úszik (hu) Icelandic:
synda (is) Ido:
natar (io) Indonesian:
berenang (id) Interlingua:
nuotare (it) Japanese:
泳ぐ (ja) ( およぐ, oyogu ) Javanese:
, langi nglangi (jv) Kapingamarangi:
жүзу (kk) ( jüzw ) Khmer:
ហែល ( hael ), ហែលទឹក ( hael tɨk ) Korean:
수영하다 (ko) ( suyeong-hada ), 헤엄치다 (ko) ( he-eomchida ) Lao:
ລອຍນ້ຳ ( lǭi nam ) Latgalian:
, maut mauduot Latin:
nato , (la) no (la)
plaukti (lt) Low German:
German Low German:
пли́ва ( plíva ) Malayalam:
നീന്തുക (ml) ( nīntuka ) Mangarevan:
kau , (mi) tere ( referring to fish ) Marathi:
पोहणे ( pohṇe ) Mongolian:
усанд сэлэх ( usand seleh ) Navajo:
natà Ngazidja Comorian:
nagi North Frisian:
( Föhr-Amrum ) sweem Norwegian:
nadar (oc) Ossetian:
ленк кӕнын ( lenk kænyn ) Persian:
شنا کردن (fa) ( šenâ kardan ), شناویدن ( šenâvidan ) ( archaic ) Pitcairn-Norfolk:
pływać (pl) impf ( abstract ), płynąć (pl) impf ( concrete ) Portuguese:
nadar (pt) Quechua:
, wayt'ay wamp'uy Rapa Nui:
înota (ro) Romansch:
, nudar , senudar , nuder nodar Russian:
пла́вать (ru) impf ( plávatʹ ) ( abstract ), плыть (ru) impf ( plytʹ ) ( concrete ) Sardinian:
, anatare , nadare
nadai Scottish Gaelic:
пли̏вати impf Roman:
plȉvati (sh) impf Sicilian:
natari (scn) Sinhalese:
පිහිනනවා ( pihinanavā ) Slovak:
plávať (sk) impf Slovene:
plavati (sl) impf Sorbian:
plěś impf ( concrete ), plěwaś impf ( abstract ) Spanish:
nadar (es) Sundanese:
simma (sv) Tagalog:
, natà natare Telugu:
ఈదు (te) ( īdu ) Thai:
ว่ายน้ำ ( wâai-náam ), ว่าย (th) ( wâai ) Tuamotuan:
yüzmek (tr) Turkmen:
эштир ( äštïr ), эштип билир ( äštïp bïlïr ) Udmurt:
уяны ( ujany ) Ukrainian:
( abstract ) пла́вати impf ( plávaty ), попла́вати pf ( poplávaty ); ( concrete ), плисти́ impf ( plystý ), поплисти́ pf ( poplystý ) Urdu:
تیرنا ( tairnā ) Venetian:
noar , (vec) , nodar nuar Vietnamese:
bơi , (vi) ( lit. “to bathe”; used when swimming leisurely ) tắm (vi) Volapük:
svimön (vo) Welsh:
nofio (cy) West Frisian:
שווימען ( shvimen )
swim ( plural ) swims
An act or instance of swimming.
I'm going for a swim. The
sound, or air bladder, of a fish.
( Britain ) A part of a stream much frequented by fish.
Derived terms [ edit ]
Translations [ edit ]
act or instance of swimming
Etymology 2 [ edit ]
. someone who isn't me
Abbreviation [ edit ]
( Internet slang , text messaging ) Someone who isn't me, used as a way to avoid self-designation or self-incrimination, especially in online drug forums; similar to a friend of mine
See also [ edit ]