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(mechanical) heavy-duty swivel
Swivel (ordnance), Isle of Wight, UK


From Middle English swyvel, swivel, from a derivative of Old English swīfan (to revolve), + -el, an instrumental suffix, equivalent to swive +‎ -el.


  • IPA(key): /ˈswɪvəl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪvəl


English Wikipedia has an article on:

swivel (countable and uncountable, plural swivels)

  1. (mechanical) A piece, such as a ring or hook, attached to another piece by a pin, in such a manner as to permit rotation about the pin as an axis.
    • 1907, Harold Bindloss, chapter 7, in The Dust of Conflict[1]:
      The patter of feet, and clatter of strap and swivel, seemed to swell into a bewildering din, but they were almost upon the fielato offices, where the carretera entered the town, before a rifle flashed.
  2. (military) A small piece of ordnance, turning on a point or swivel; called also swivel gun.
    • 1796, John Stedman, Narrative of a Five Years’ Expedition, London: J. Johnson, Volume 1, Chapter 4, p. 81,[2]
      [The settlement] was entirely surrounded by a broad unfordable marsh or swamp, which prevented all communication, except by private paths under water, known only to the rebels, and before which Baron had placed loaded swivels []
    • 1881, Thomas Wilhelm, A Military Dictionary and Gazetteer
      Applied to guns mounted upon the cartridges were fired without being tripods , stands , swivels , or carriages
  3. (slang, uncountable) Strength of mind or character that enables one to overcome adversity; confidence; force of will.
    Bob ain't got no swivel.
  4. The act of swivelling.
  5. (dance) A rotating of the hips.
  6. (fishing) A small, usually ball- or barrel-shaped device used in angling to connect sections of fishing lines, consisting of two rings linked via a thrust bearing pivot joint.

Derived terms[edit]



swivel (third-person singular simple present swivels, present participle swiveling or swivelling, simple past and past participle swiveled or swivelled)

  1. (intransitive) To swing or turn, as on a pin or pivot.
    • 2013, Delme Parfitt in Wales Online, Cardiff City 1 - 0 Swansea City: Steven Caulker heads Bluebirds to South Wales derby win (3 November 2013)
      As expected, Swansea began the game with some patient passing and the first chance fell to striker Michu in the fourth minute when he controlled a cross by Jonjo Shelvey and swivelled in the penalty box, only to fire over the bar.



swivel in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913