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From Middle English swenge (to strike), from Old English swengan (to dash, strike; to cause to swing).



swinge (third-person singular simple present swinges, present participle swinging or swingeing, simple past swinged or swonge, past participle swinged or swongen) (forms with o are obsolete)

  1. (obsolete) To singe.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
  2. (archaic) To move like a lash; to lash.
    • Milton
      Swinges the scaly horror of his folded tail.
  3. (archaic) To strike hard.
    • Shakespeare
      I had swinged him soundly.
    • C. Dryden
      And swinges his own vices in his son.
    • Aphra Behn (1640-89) The Feigned Courtesans. This edition: (The plays of) Aphra Behn. Oxford University press 2000. p.233. →ISBN
      Sir Feeble: Tis jelousy, the old worm that bites. [To Sir Cautious] Whom is it that you suspect.
      Sir Cautious: Alas I know not whom to suspect, I would I did; but if you discover him, I would swinge him.
  4. (obsolete) To chastise; to beat.
    • The marriage of Wit and Wisdom (1579)
      O, the passion of God, so I shall be swinged.
      So, my bones shall be bangedǃ
      The porridge pot is stolenː what, Lob, say,
      Come away, and be hangedǃ

Related terms[edit]


swinge (plural swinges)

  1. (archaic) A swinging blow.
  2. (obsolete) Power; sway; influence.