swear Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

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 real shock, the first time I heard my mother swear. When the cab driver started 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 (= promised definitely) (that) she didn't know what had happened to the money. [+ to infinitive] New gang members must swear to obey the gang leaders at all times. In some countries, witnesses in court have to swear on the Bible. I swore an oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. A few of us knew what was going to happen, but we were sworn to secrecy (= 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 completely certain 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

A blazing row: words and phrases for arguing and arguments
A blazing row: words and phrases for arguing and arguments
by ,
May 04, 2016
by Kate Woodford We can’t always focus on the positive! This week, we’re looking at the language that is used to refer to arguing and arguments, and the differences in meaning between the various words and phrases. There are several words that suggest that people are arguing about something that is not important. (As you might

Read More 

Word of the Day

galaxy

one of the independent groups of stars in the universe

Word of the Day

trigger warning noun
trigger warning noun
May 02, 2016
a warning that a subject may trigger unpleasant emotions or memories This is not, I should stress, an argument that trigger warnings should become commonplace on campus.

Read More