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From Middle English swownen, swonen ‎(to faint), and Middle English aswoune ‎(in a swoon), both ultimately from Old English ġeswōgen ‎(insensible, senseless, dead), past participle of swōgan ‎(to make a sound, overrun, suffocate) (compare Old English āswōgan ‎(to cover over, overcome)), from Proto-Germanic *swōganą ‎(to make a noise), from Proto-Indo-European *swāghe- ‎(to shout). Cognate with Low German swogen ‎(to sigh, groan), Dutch zwoegen ‎(to groan, breathe heavily), Norwegian dialectal søgja ‎(to whistle, hum, talk loudly). More at sough.



swoon ‎(plural swoons)

  1. A faint.
    • 1897, Bram Stoker, Dracula Chapter 21
      "I felt my strength fading away, and I was in a half swoon. How long this horrible thing lasted I know not, but it seemed that a long time must have passed before he took his foul, awful, sneering mouth away. I saw it drip with the fresh blood!"
  2. An infatuation



swoon ‎(third-person singular simple present swoons, present participle swooning, simple past and past participle swooned)

  1. (dated) to faint, to lose consciousness
    • 1918, Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Gods of Mars[1], HTML edition, The Gutenberg Project, published 2008:
      I dropped the vessel quickly to a lower level. Nor was I a moment too soon. The girl had swooned.
  2. to be overwhelmed by emotion (especially infatuation)

Derived terms[edit]