Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “swim”

swim

verb uk   /swɪm/ (present participle swimming, past tense swam, past participle swum) us  

swim verb (MOVE IN WATER)

A1 [I or T] to move through water by moving the body or parts of the body: We spent the day on the beach but it was too cold to go swimming. Her ambition is to swim (across) the English Channel. I swam two miles this morning.SwimmingMovement on or through water be swimming in/with sth disapproving If food is swimming in/with a liquid, it has too much of that liquid in it or on it: The salad was swimming in oil.Not pleasant to eat or drink

swim verb (SEEM TO MOVE)

[I] (of an object) to seem to move about: Getting up too suddenly made the room swim before her eyes.Revolving, rotating and spinningHeadaches and dizziness [I] If your head swims, you feel confused and are unable to think or see clearly: After the second or third drink, my head began to swim.Revolving, rotating and spinningHeadaches and dizziness

swim

noun [S] uk   /swɪm/ us  
A2 a time when you swim: Let's go for/have a swim this afternoon.Movement on or through waterSwimming
swimmer
noun [C] uk   /ˈswɪm.ər/ us    //
B1 Oliver is a very strong swimmer.Swimming
swimming
noun [U] uk   /ˈswɪm.ɪŋ/ us  
A2 The doctor recommended swimming as the best all-round exercise.Swimming
(Definition of swim from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of swim?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “swim” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

knack

a skill or an ability to do something easily and well

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More