From Middle English swimmen, from 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”), Norwegian Bokmål and Danish svømme (“to swim”), Swedish simma (“to swim”), Norwegian Nynorsk symja (“to swim”).
- (intransitive, archaic) To float.
sink or swim
- (intransitive) To move through the water, without touching the bottom; to propel oneself in water by natural means.
- (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 swim.
- Psalm VI:6 (KJV)
- (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.
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 swimmand. (The Towneley plays)
- Their young child Troiane, as swift as dolphin fish, swimmand away. (1513, Gavin Douglas, Virgil's Aeneid)
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.
Abbreviation of someone who isn't me.
- (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