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Table of Contents -- swear
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Noun, Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive), Verb (intransitive)


Verb swear has 5 senses


swearv. i. [OE. swerien, AS. swerian; akin to D. zweren, OS. swerian, OHG. swerien, G. schwören, Icel. sverja, Sw. svärja, Dan. sværge, Icel. & Sw. svara to answer, Dan. svare, Dan. & Sw. svar an answer, Goth. swaran to swear, and perhaps to E. swarm. √177. Cf. Answer.].
  •  To affirm or utter a solemn declaration, with an appeal to God for the truth of what is affirmed; to make a promise, threat, or resolve on oath; also, to affirm solemnly by some sacred object, or one regarded as sacred, as the Bible, the Koran, etc.  [1913 Webster]
    "Ye shall swear by my name falsely."  [1913 Webster]
    "I swear by all the Roman gods."  [1913 Webster]
  •  To give evidence on oath; as, to swear to the truth of a statement; he swore against the prisoner.  [1913 Webster]
  •  To make an appeal to God in an irreverant manner; to use the name of God or sacred things profanely; to call upon God in imprecation; to curse.  [1913 Webster]
    "[I] swore little; diced not above seven times a week."  [1913 Webster]
To swear by, to place great confidence in a person or thing; to trust implicitly as an authority. “I simply meant to ask if you are one of those who swear by Lord Verulam.” Miss Edgeworth. -- To swear off, to make a solemn vow, or a serious resolution, to abstain from something; as, to swear off smoking. [Slang]
swearv. t. 
  •  To utter or affirm with a solemn appeal to God for the truth of the declaration; to make (a promise, threat, or resolve) under oath.  [1913 Webster]
    "Swear unto me here by God, that thou wilt not deal falsely with me."  [1913 Webster]
    "He swore consent to your succession."  [1913 Webster]
  •  To put to an oath; to cause to take an oath; to administer an oath to; -- ofetn followed by in or into; as, to swear witnesses; to swear a jury; to swear in an officer; he was sworn into office.  [1913 Webster]
  •  To declare or charge upon oath; as, he swore treason against his friend.  Johnson.  [1913 Webster]
  •  To appeal to by an oath.  [1913 Webster]
    "Now, by Apollo, king,
    Thou swear'st thy gods in vain.
    "  [1913 Webster]
To swear the peace against one, to make oath that one is under the actual fear of death or bodily harm from the person, in which case the person must find sureties that he will keep the peace.


swear, v. & n.
--v. (past swore; past part. sworn)
1 tr. a (often foll. by to + infin. or that + clause) state or promise solemnly or on oath. b take (an oath).
2 tr. colloq. say emphatically; insist (swore he had not seen it).
3 tr. cause to take an oath (swore them to secrecy).
4 intr. (often foll. by at) use profane or indecent language, esp. as an expletive or from anger.
5 tr. (often foll. by against) make a sworn affirmation of (an offence) (swear treason against).
6 intr. (foll. by by) a appeal to as a witness in taking an oath (swear by Almighty God). b colloq. have or express great confidence in (swears by yoga).
7 intr. (foll. by to; usu. in neg.) admit the certainty of (could not swear to it).
8 intr. (foll. by at) colloq. (of colours etc.) fail to harmonize with.
--n. a spell of swearing.

swear blind colloq. affirm emphatically. swear in induct into office etc. by administering an oath. swear off colloq. promise to abstain from (drink etc.). swear-word a profane or indecent word, esp. uttered as an expletive.
swearer n.
OE swerian f. Gmc, rel. to ANSWER



abjure, abuse, acknowledge, adjure, administer an oath, affirm, agree, allege, and candle, assert, assert under oath, asseverate, assure, attest, aver, avoid, avouch, avow, bear witness, believe in, blaspheme, book, certify, confess, count on, countersign, covenant, curse, curse and swear, cuss, declare, depone, depose, disclose, dysphemize, eschew, execrate, expletive, express the belief, forgo, forsake, forswear, give evidence, give up, go off, guarantee, have confidence in, imprecate, insist, kiss the book, make a promise, oath, pledge, plight, profess, promise, put under oath, put upon oath, rely on, renounce, scatologize, shun, state, swear by, swear by bell, swear in, swear off, swear the truth, swear to, swear to God, swear to goodness, talk dirty, testify, throw over, troth, trust in, undertake, underwrite, use language, vilify, vouch, vouchsafe, vow, warrant, witness




VB promise, give a promise, undertake, engage, make an engagement, form an engagement, enter into an engagement, enter on an engagement, bind oneself, tie oneself, pledge oneself, commit oneself, take upon oneself, vow, swear, give one's word, pass one's word, pledge one's word, plight one's word, give one's honor, pass one's honor, pledge one's honor, plight one's honor, give credit, pass credit, pledge credit, plight credit, give troth, pass troth, pledge troth, plight troth, betroth, plight faith, assure, warrant, guarantee, covenant, attest, hold out an expectation, contract an obligation, become bound to, become sponsor for, answer for, be answerable for, secure, give security, underwrite, adjure, administer an oath, put to one's oath, swear a witness.


VB be impious, profane, desecrate, blaspheme, revile, scoff, swear, commit sacrilege, snuffle, turn up the whites of the eyes, idolize.


VB be insolent, bluster, vapor, swagger, swell, give oneself airs, snap one's fingers, kick up a dust, swear, rap out oaths, roister, arrogate, assume, presume, make bold, make free, take a liberty, give an inch and take an ell, domineer, bully, dictate, hector, lord it over, traiter de haut en bas, regarder de haut en bas, exact, snub, huff, beard, fly in the face of, put to the blush, bear down, beat down, browbeat, intimidate, trample down, tread down, trample under foot, dragoon, ride roughshod over, out face, outlook, outstare, outbrazen, outbrave, stare out of countenance, brazen out, lay down the law, teach one's grandmother to suck eggs, assume a lofty bearing, talk big, look big, put on big looks, act the grand seigneur, mount the high horse, ride the high horse, toss the head, carry, with a high hand, tempt Providence, want snuffing.


VB curse, accurse, imprecate, damn, swear at, curse with bell book and candle, invoke curses on the head of, call down curses on the head of, devote to destruction, execrate, beshrew, scold, anathematize, bold up to execration, denounce, proscribe, excommunicate, fulminate, thunder against, threaten, curse and swear, swear, swear like a trooper, fall a cursing, rap out an oath, damn.


VB assert, make an assertion, have one's say, say, affirm, predicate, declare, state, protest, profess, put forth, put forward, advance, allege, propose, propound, enunciate, broach, set forth, hold out, maintain, contend, pronounce, pretend, depose, depone, aver, avow, avouch, asseverate, swear, make oath, take one's oath, make an affidavit, swear an affidavit, put in an affidavit, take one's Bible oath, kiss the book, vow, vitam impendere vero, swear till one is black in the face, swear till one is blue in the face, swear till all's blue, be sworn, call Heaven to witness, vouch, warrant, certify, assure, swear by bell book and candle, swear by, insist upon, take one's stand upon, emphasize, lay stress on, assert roundly, assert positively, lay down, lay down the law, raise one's voice, dogmatize, have the last word, rap out, repeat, reassert, reaffirm, announce, acknowledge, attest, adjure.

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