—v.t. 1. to cause to move to and fro, sway, or oscillate, as something suspended from above: to swing one's arms in walking. 2. to cause to move in alternate directions or in either direction around a fixed point, on an axis, or on a line of support, as a door on hinges.
3. to move (the hand or something held) with an oscillating or rotary movement: to swing one's fists; to swing a club around one's head. 4. Aeron.to pull or turn (a propeller) by hand, esp. in order to start the engine.
5. to turn in a new direction in a curve, as if around a central point: to swing the car into the driveway. 6. to suspend so as to hang freely, as a hammock or a door.
7. Informal.to influence or win over; manage or arrange as desired: to swing votes; to swing a business deal. 8. to direct, change, or shift (one's interest, opinion, support, etc.).
9. to turn (a ship or aircraft) to various headings in order to check compass deviation.
—v.i. 1. to move or sway to and fro, as a pendulum or other suspended object.
2. to move to and fro in a swing, as for recreation.
3. to move in alternate directions or in either direction around a point, an axis, or a line of support, as a gate on its hinges.
4. to move in a curve, as around a corner or central point: The highway swings to the east. 5. to move with a free, swaying motion, as soldiers on the march.
6. to be suspended so as to hang freely, as a bell or hammock.
7. to move by grasping a support with the hands and drawing up the arms or using the momentum of the swaying body: a monkey swinging through trees. 8. to change or shift one's attention, interest, opinion, condition, etc.: He swung from mere indifference to outright scorn. 9. to hit at someone or something, with the hand or something grasped in the hand: The batter swung and struck out. 10. Slang. a. to be characterized by a modern, lively atmosphere: Las Vegas swings all year. b. to be stylish, trendy, hip, etc., esp. in pursuing enjoyment.
c. to engage uninhibitedly in sexual activity.
d. (of married couples) to exchange partners for sexual activity.
11. Informal.to suffer death by hanging: He'll swing for the crime. 12. swing round the circle, to tour an area on a political campaign.
—n. 1. the act, manner, or progression of swinging; movement in alternate directions or in a particular direction.
2. the amount or extent of such movement: to correct the swing of a pendulum. 3. a curving movement or course.
4. a moving of the body with a free, swaying motion, as in walking.
5. a blow or stroke with the hand or an object grasped in the hands: His swing drove the ball over the fence. 6. a change or shift in attitude, opinion, behavior, etc.
7. a steady, marked rhythm or movement, as of verse or music.
8. a regular upward or downward movement in the price of a commodity or of a security, or in any business activity.
9. Informal. a. a work period coming between the regular day and night shifts.
b. a change by a group of workers from working one shift to working another.
10. freedom of action: to have free swing in carrying out a project. 11. active operation; progression: to get into the swing of things. 12. something that is swung or that swings.
13. a seat suspended from above by means of a loop of rope or between ropes or rods, on which one may sit and swing to and fro for recreation.
14. the maximum diameter of the work machinable in a certain lathe or other machine tool.
15. in full swing, operating at the highest speed or level of activity; in full operation: Automobile production is in full swing. 16. take a swing at, to strike or attempt to strike with the fist: to take a swing at a rude waiter.
—adj. 1. of or pertaining to a swing.
2. capable of determining the outcome, as of an election; deciding: the swing vote. 3. designed or constructed to permit swinging or hanging.
4. acting to relieve other workers when needed, as at night.
—n. 1. Also called Big Band music, swing music. a style of jazz, popular esp. in the 1930s and often arranged for a large dance band, marked by a smoother beat and more flowing phrasing than Dixieland and having less complex harmonies and rhythms than modern jazz.
2. the rhythmic element that excites dancers and listeners to move in time to jazz music.
—adj. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of swing: a swing record.