swing


swing
swing vb 1 Swing, wave, flourish, brandish, shake, thrash are comparable when they mean to wield or to handle something so that it moves alternately backward and forward or upward and downward or around and around.
Swing often implies regular oscillations
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impassable, swinging hands with their escorts . . . they dawdled up the hill toward the college— Faulkner

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he spun the typewriter around, and tested the action of the bell several times, swinging the carriage back and forth— Bliven b. 1916

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It may, however, imply continuous rotatory movements
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swung a pail over his head

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Wave distinctively implies undulating or fluttering motions without rhythmical regularity
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wave a flag

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wave a handkerchief

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and usually additionally implies, according to the nature of the thing waved and the way in which it is waved, a specific intent or purpose (as of signaling, ordering, displaying an emotion, or greeting)
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then grave Clarissa graceful waved her fan; silence ensued— Pope

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waved my arm to warn them off— Tennyson

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you cannot wave a wand over the country and say "Let there be Socialism": at least nothing will happen if you do— Shaw

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Flourish implies ostentation, triumph, or bravado in swinging or waving something held in the hand (as a weapon, a stick, or a rod)
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with their swords flourished as if to fight— Wordsworth

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he walked with a gay spring . . . flourishing his cane— Bennett

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Painless flourished the forceps, planted himself square in front of his patient, heaved a moment, and triumphantly held up in full view an undoubted tooth—5. E. White

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Brandish stresses menace or threat as flourish seldom does; otherwise it suggests some-what similar motions
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I shall brandish my sword before them— Ezek 32:10

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he brandishes his pliant length of whip, resounding oft— Cowper

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the . . . speech was a curious mélange of olive branches and brandished fists— Frye

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Shake (see also SHAKE 2) can come very close to wave or flourish
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with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river— Isa 11:15

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shaking her fingers playfully in the direction of the vehicle— Thackeray

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but like brandish it commonly suggests a menacing or threatening or warning intent
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people passing by . . . shake their fists and curse— Housman

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"Take heed, Oliver! take heed!" said the old man, shaking his right hand before him in a warning manner— Dickens

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Thrash (see also BEAT 1) implies a noisy vigorous swinging suggestive of the motions of a flail in threshing grain
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thrashing his arms to keep warm

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thrashed his legs in swimming

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on a blanket on the nursery floor and watched him proudly while he thrashed his sturdy arms and legs— Davenport

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Analogous words: parade, flaunt, display, exhibit (see SHOW vb)
2 Swing, sway, oscillate, vibrate, fluctuate, pendulate, waver, undulate mean to move to and fro, back and forth, or up and down.
Swing (see also SWING 1) implies movement in an arc of something attached only at one side or at one end (as by being suspended, hinged, or pivoted); apart from the context the term conveys no definite implication of whether the movement is induced or is automatic, whether it is occasional or constant, or whether it is rhythmical and regular or intermittent and irregular
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the red amaryllises . . . swung in heavy clusters— Stark Young

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the door swung open

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suddenly Gil's head swung sharply to the right— Mason

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a pendulum swings with great regularity

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Sway implies a slow swinging motion, especially in a flexible or unsteady object that yields to lack of support or to pressure from one side or another
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to hear the swaying of the branches of the giant pine— Binyon

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she stood up; she seemed to sway a little as she stood— Mary Austin

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caravans of camels, swaying with their padded feet across the desert— L. P. Smith

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Oscillate implies a swinging motion of or as if of something suspended so that it moves through a regular arc; the term usually implies a movement from one side or place or from one condition, attitude, or position to another, with more or less regularity
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hurricanes frequently move along an irregular path that oscillates about the relatively straight or smooth curved path that the storms were depicted as following . . . before the 1940's— R. C. Gentry & R. H. Simpson

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Bohemianism has continuously oscillated between the poles of escape and revolt— Levin

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American attitudes oscillate between such poles as withdrawal and intervention, optimism and pessimism, idealism and cynicism— Bundy

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Vibrate is sometimes used in the sense of oscillate
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the double complex pendulum, when it vibrates in one plane— Encyc. Brit.

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but it more typically implies rapid periodic oscillations usually over an arc of small amplitude and may suggest the rapid pulsations of the string of a musical instrument (as the piano or violin) when touched by a hammer or bow or the rapid beating of some wings (as of a hawkmoth or hummingbird)
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you know that if you strike a note of music, all the octave notes will vibrateManning

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ultrasonic . . . waves vibrate so fast they can't be heard by the human ear— Boyd Wright

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In a more extended sense vibrate may imply a trembling, a quavering, or a throbbing suggestive of the movements of musical strings when an instrument is being played
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on summer evenings when the air vibrated with the song of insects— Anderson

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nerve and bone of that poor man's body vibrated to those words— Stowe

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Fluctuate occasionally implies a tossing up and down restlessly like the waves of the sea or like something floating on such waves, but is chiefly used in an extended sense implying constant irregular alternations suggestive of the movement of waves
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stock prices that fluctuate from day to day

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the old unquiet breast, which neither deadens into rest, nor ever feels the fiery glow that whirls the spirit from itself away, but fluctuates to and fro— Arnold

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causes the respiration, pulse, and blood pressure of the test subject to fluctuate widely from the normal— Armstrong

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there are about seven hundred and fifty of them . . . but the number fluctuates rapidly with the demands of the situation— Hahn

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Pendulate, a somewhat uncommon word, is a near synonym of oscillate in implying a swinging between two extremes, but it often comes close to fluctuate in its strong suggestion of constant change
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the ill-starred scoundrel pendulates between Heaven and Earth— Carlyle

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he pendulated between extremes, between adding to his poetic masterpieces and to his notorious "Don Juan list"— Cournos

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saw the Colonel pendulating between Perkins' room and Pinchot's room. He would toddle out of one room . . . and enter another— White

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Waver (see also HESITATE) carries a stronger implication of unsteadiness or of uncertainty in swinging than does sway or oscillate
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banners and pennons wavering with the wind— Berners

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he needed assurance, his plump hands wavering uncertainly away from his body— Mailer

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a great misery spoke from the hold. It wavered eerily about the fringes of her consciousness— Hervey

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Undulate is more often used than fluctuate when a wavelike motion is implied; especially in its extended use it seldom suggests violent changes, but rather the continuous rolling or rippling that is associated with the steady flow of waves
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the ripe corn under the undulating air undulates like an ocean— Shelley

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the . . . flame . . . made the jades undulate like green pools— Lowell

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the great serpent drew back like a flash, and turning, undulated slowly away— Beebe

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Analogous words: *turn, spin, whirl, wheel, revolve, rotate, gyrate: *shake, tremble, quiver, quaver, quake
3 wield, manipulate, *handle, ply
Analogous words: control, manage, direct, *conduct

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • swing — swing …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • swing — [ swiŋ ] n. m. • 1895; mot angl., de to swing « balancer » ♦ Anglic. I ♦ 1 ♦ Boxe Coup de poing donné en ramenant le bras de l extérieur à l intérieur. « Joe Mitchell, d un furieux swing du droit, fendit l arcade sourcilière de son adversaire »… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Swing — may refer to:ports* Swing bowling, a subtype of fast bowling in cricket * Golf swing * Baseball swing * Swing (boxing)Dance* Swing (dance) ** West Coast Swing ** East Coast Swing ** Lindy Hop ** Jive (dance)MusicKey concepts* Swung note, changes… …   Wikipedia

  • swing — [swiŋ] vi. swung, swinging [ME swingen < OE swingan, akin to Ger schwingen, to brandish < IE base * sweng , to curve, swing] 1. to sway or move backward and forward with regular movement, as a freely hanging object or a ship at anchor;… …   English World dictionary

  • Swing — Swing, n. 1. The act of swinging; a waving, oscillating, or vibratory motion of a hanging or pivoted object; oscillation; as, the swing of a pendulum. [1913 Webster] 2. Swaying motion from one side or direction to the other; as, some men walk… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Swing — bezeichnet Swing (Musikrichtung), Musikrichtung, die in den 1930ern aus der Jazz Tanzmusik entstand Swing (Rhythmus), fließende Rhythmik, die eines der wesentlichsten Elemente des Jazz darstellt Swing (Tanz), Tanzstil, der in den 1930ern in den… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • swing — ► VERB (past and past part. swung) 1) move back and forth or from side to side while or as if suspended. 2) move by grasping a support and leaping. 3) move in a smooth, curving line. 4) (swing at) attempt to hit or punch. 5) shift from one… …   English terms dictionary

  • Swing — Swing, v. t. 1. To cause to swing or vibrate; to cause to move backward and forward, or from one side to the other. [1913 Webster] He swings his tail, and swiftly turns his round. Dryden. [1913 Webster] They get on ropes, as you must have seen… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Swing — Swing, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Swung}; Archaic imp. {Swang}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Swinging}.] [OE. swingen, AS. swingan to scourge, to fly, to flutter; akin to G. schwingen to winnow, to swingle, oscillate, sich schwingen to leap, to soar, OHG. swingan… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Swing-by — auch: Swing|by 〈[ baı] n. 15; Raumf.〉 = Fly by [<engl. swing by „kurz vorbeischauen“] * * * Swing by   [ baɪ, englisch], Raumfahrt: das Fly by. * * * Swịng by [... baɪ], das; s, s [engl. swing by, eigtl. = das Vorüberschwingen] (Raumf.): ↑ …   Universal-Lexikon


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