swear Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “swear” in the English Dictionary

"swear" in British English

See all translations

swearverb

uk   /sweər/  us   /swer/ (swore, sworn)
  • swear verb (USE RUDE WORDS)

B2 [I] to use words that are ​rude or ​offensive as a way of ​emphasizing what you ​mean or as a way of ​insulting someone or something: It was a ​realshock, the first ​time I ​heard my ​mother swear. When the ​cabdriverstarted to swear at him, he ​walked away.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • swear verb (PROMISE)

B2 [I or T] to ​promise or say ​firmly that you are ​telling the ​truth or that you will do something or ​behave in a ​particular way: I don't ​know anything about what ​happened, I swear (it). [+ (that)] You might ​find it ​difficult to ​believe, but I swear (that) the ​guy just came up to me and gave me the ​money.UK informal She swore blind (= ​promiseddefinitely) (that) she didn't ​know what had ​happened to the ​money. [+ to infinitive] New ​gangmembers must swear toobey the ​gangleaders at all ​times. In some ​countries, ​witnesses in ​court have to swear on the ​Bible. I swore an oath to ​tell the ​truth, the ​wholetruth, and nothing but the ​truth. A few of us ​knew what was going to ​happen, but we were sworn tosecrecy (= we were made to ​promise to ​keep it a ​secret). I ​think his ​birthday is on the 5th, but I wouldn't/couldn't swear to it (= I am not ​completelycertain about it).

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • He swore he would ​avenge his brother's ​death.
  • He swore he'd ​pay her back for all she'd done to him.
  • Soldiers must swear ​allegiance to the Crown.
  • I swear to ​God I didn't ​know about it.
  • I ​want you to swear that you will never ​try to ​see her again.
(Definition of swear from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of swear?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“swear” in British English

Word of the Day

fire-eater

a performer who entertains people by seeming to swallow flames

Word of the Day

PLEASE DON’T SHOUT!
PLEASE DON’T SHOUT!
by Colin McIntosh,
February 09, 2016
New words are entering the language all the time. A few of these are completely new and original coinages, but the vast majority are based on the existing stock of words in some way, for example by using affixes (prefixes and suffixes). These can have the effect of changing the meaning of the

Read More 

farecasting noun
farecasting noun
February 08, 2016
predicting the optimum date to buy a plane ticket, especially on a website or using an app A handful of new and updated websites and apps are trying to perfect the art of what’s known as farecasting – predicting the best date to buy a ticket.

Read More