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See also: Swoon


Alternative forms[edit]


  • enPR: swo͝on, IPA(key): /swuːn/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -uːn

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English swoune, swone, from the verb (see below).


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.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English swounen, swonen (to faint), and 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 *(s)weh₂gʰ-. Cognate with Low German swogen (to sigh, groan), Dutch zwoegen (to groan, breathe heavily), dialectal Norwegian søgja (to whistle, hum, talk loudly). More at sough.


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

  1. (literally) To faint, to lose consciousness.
    Synonyms: black out, faint, pass out
    • 1885, Richard F. Burton, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Night 539:
      I threw myself down on the island ground, like a dead man, and drowned in desolation swooned away, nor did I return to my senses till next morning, when the sun rose and revived me.
    • 1913 January–May, Edgar Rice Burroughs, “The Gods of Mars”, in The All-Story, New York, N.Y.: Frank A. Munsey Co., OCLC 17392886; republished as “A Fair Goddess”, in The Gods of Mars, New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1918, OCLC 639726183, page 107:
      I dropped the vessel quickly to a lower level. Nor was I a moment too soon. The girl had swooned.
    • 2011 August 2, “Perry the Platypus”, in Phineas and Ferb: Across the 1st and 2nd Dimensions, Walt Disney Records, performed by Randy Crenshaw:
      He's got more than just mad skill / He's got a beaver tail and a bill. / And the women swoon whenever they hear him say…
  2. (by extension) To be overwhelmed by emotion, especially infatuation.
  3. To make a moan, sigh, or some other sound expressing infatuation or affection.
    The girls swooned at the picture of their favorite actor.
    • 2013 (November 2) Pinky 10 minutes into episode 25 ("The Spy Who Slimed Me") of TV series "Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures" per closed captions
      [Swoons] For sure. He's totally dreamy. Uh--but my heart still belongs to you, Pac-ums.
Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]