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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Apparently the ballerina Pavlova came here to learn to dance like a swan for the ballet Swan Lake.
▪ But for the time being conservationists everywhere are happy to know that the swans and the anglers are no longer rivers apart.
▪ Down in the Mootwalk a woman laughed and from the water a swan gave its harsh, grating cry.
▪ Mute swan, stately and serene, are present all the year.
▪ Or a swan of a son?
▪ The swans in the Krasinski Garden were out on the lake and children were throwing bread crumbs to them.
▪ We know that swans are strong and violent and can attack you.
▪ But no time for swanning around at the pub.
▪ The last thing she needed tonight was Victoria swanning around looking like a juvenile femmefatale.
▪ So we Limeys swanned off sniffily to the wings, where we did make an impression.
▪ And swanning into town ... the other Royal family comes home.
▪ And people like Greg Allman and Cher were swanning past us.
▪ But no time for swanning around at the pub.
▪ So we Limeys swanned off sniffily to the wings, where we did make an impression.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Swan \Swan\ (sw[o^]n), n. [AS. swan; akin to D. zwaan, OHG. swan, G. schwan, Icel. svanr, Sw. svan, Dan. svane; and perhaps to E. sound something audible.]

  1. (Zo["o]l.) Any one of numerous species of large aquatic birds belonging to Cygnus, Olor, and allied genera of the subfamily Cygnin[ae]. They have a large and strong beak and a long neck, and are noted for their graceful movements when swimming. Most of the northern species are white. In literature the swan was fabled to sing a melodious song, especially at the time of its death.

    Note: The European white, or mute, swan ( Cygnus gibbus), which is most commonly domesticated, bends its neck in an S-shaped curve. The whistling, or trumpeting, swans of the genus Olor do not bend the neck in an S-shaped curve, and are noted for their loud and sonorous cry, due to complex convolutions of the windpipe. To this genus belong the European whooper, or whistling swan ( Olor cygnus), the American whistling swan ( O. Columbianus), and the trumpeter swan ( O. buccinator). The Australian black swan ( Chenopis atrata) is dull black with white on the wings, and has the bill carmine, crossed with a white band. It is a very graceful species and is often domesticated. The South American black-necked swan ( Sthenelides melancorypha) is a very beautiful and graceful species, entirely white, except the head and neck, which are dark velvety seal-brown. Its bill has a double bright rose-colored knob.

  2. Fig.: An appellation for a sweet singer, or a poet noted for grace and melody; as Shakespeare is called the swan of Avon.

  3. (Astron.) The constellation Cygnus.

    Swan goose (Zo["o]l.), a bird of India ( Cygnopsis cygnoides) resembling both the swan and the goose.

    Swan shot, a large size of shot used in fowling.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Old English swan "swan," from Proto-Germanic *swanaz "singer" (cognates: Old Saxon swan, Old Norse svanr, Danish svane, Swedish svan, Middle Dutch swane, Dutch zwaan, Old High German swan, German Schwan), probably literally "the singing bird," from PIE root *swen- "to sing, make sound" (see sound (n.1)); thus related to Old English geswin "melody, song" and swinsian "to make melody."\n

\nIn classical mythology, sacred to Apollo and to Venus. The singing of swans before death was alluded to by Chaucer (late 14c.), but swan-song (1831) is a translation of German Schwanengesang. The ancient Indo-European mythical swan-maiden so called by mythographers from 1829. Swan dive is recorded from 1898. A black swan was proverbial for "something extremely rare or non-existent" (late 14c.), after Juvenal ["Sat." vi. 164], but later they turned up in Australia (Chenopsis atratus).\n\n"Do you say no worthy wife is to be found among all these crowds?" Well, let her be handsome, charming, rich and fertile; let her have ancient ancestors ranged about her halls; let her be more chaste than all the dishevelled Sabine maidens who stopped the war
--a prodigy as rare upon the earth as a black swan! yet who could endure a wife that possessed all perfections? I would rather have a Venusian wench for my wife than you, O Cornelia, mother of the Gracchi, if, with all your virtues, you bring me a haughty brow, and reckon up Triumphs as part of your marriage portion.



Etymology 1 n. 1 Any of various species of large, long-necked waterfowl, of genus ''Cygnus'', most of which have white plumage. 2 (context figuratively English) One whose grace etc. suggests a swan. vb. (context British intransitive English) To travel or move about in an aimless, idle, or pretentiously casual way. Etymology 2

alt. (context US dialectal or colloquial English) To declare (chiefly in first-person present constructions). vb. (context US dialectal or colloquial English) To declare (chiefly in first-person present constructions).


n. stately heavy-bodied aquatic bird with very long neck and usually white plumage as adult

  1. v. to declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true; "Before God I swear I am innocent" [syn: affirm, verify, assert, avow, aver, swear]

  2. move about aimlessly or without any destination, often in search of food or employment; "The gypsies roamed the woods"; "roving vagabonds"; "the wandering Jew"; "The cattle roam across the prairie"; "the laborers drift from one town to the next"; "They rolled from town to town" [syn: roll, wander, stray, tramp, roam, cast, ramble, rove, range, drift, vagabond]

  3. sweep majestically; "Airplanes were swanning over the mountains"

Swan, IA -- U.S. city in Iowa
Population (2000): 121
Housing Units (2000): 40
Land area (2000): 0.647074 sq. miles (1.675914 sq. km)
Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km)
Total area (2000): 0.647074 sq. miles (1.675914 sq. km)
FIPS code: 76665
Located within: Iowa (IA), FIPS 19
Location: 41.466268 N, 93.311197 W
ZIP Codes (1990): 50252
Note: some ZIP codes may be omitted esp. for suburbs.
Swan, IA
Swan (beer)

Swan is a beer label owned by Lion Nathan. Originally brewed by the Swan Brewery in Western Australia.


Swans are birds of the family Anatidae within the genus Cygnus. The swans' close relatives include the geese and ducks. Swans are grouped with the closely related geese in the subfamily Anserinae where they form the tribeCygnini. Sometimes, they are considered a distinct subfamily, Cygninae. There are six or seven species of swan in the genus Cygnus; in addition there is another species known as the coscoroba swan, although this species is no longer considered one of the true swans. Swans usually mate for life, though "divorce" does sometimes occur, particularly following nesting failure, and if a mate dies, the remaining swan will take up with another. The number of eggs in each clutch ranges from three to eight.

Swan (disambiguation)

A swan is a bird of the genus Cygnus.

Swan or swans may also refer to the following:

Swan (manga)

is a shōjo manga by Kyoko Ariyoshi. The shōjo magazine Margaret serialized the story in Japan during the seventies. 21 volumes were released. In North America the story was published by CMX, but the series was abandoned after 15 volumes due to the closure of the imprint. The plot mostly follows a young girl, Masumi, as she struggles to become a ballerina.

Swan (Fabergé egg)

The Swan Egg is a Fabergé egg, one in a series of fifty-two jewelled eggs made under the supervision of Peter Carl Fabergé. Commissioned in 1906 by Tsar Nicholas II, the egg was presented to the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna on Easter that year for her 40th wedding anniversary.

Swan (chair)

The Swan is a chair and a couch designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1958 for the Radisson SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. It is manufactured by Danish furniture manufacturer Republic of Fritz Hansen.

Along with the Swan, Jacobsen also developed the Egg chair and other furniture which mostly did not get into mass production, like the Drop. The Swan couch is still in production.

Jacobsen not only used the Swan for the SAS Royal Hotel, he also used it for his following projects like Danmarks Nationalbank.

Swan (album)

Swan is the sixth studio album by the San Diego-based punk band Unwritten Law. It was released on March 29, 2011 on Suburban Noize Records. It's the band's first album in six years, since 2005's Here's to the Mourning. This is their last album to feature guitarist Steve Morris and bassist Pat "PK" Kim, who left Unwritten Law late in 2011, and also their only studio album with Dylan Howard as their drummer.

In 2010, the band held a contest for fans to submit their designs for the album's cover art, and the band chose three different covers for the album, a different one for advanced copies, internet copies, and retail copies. The album's first single, "Starships and Apocalypse" was released on January 24, 2011.

Swan (nuclear primary)

Swan was a U.S. test nuclear explosive, which was developed into the XW-45 warhead.

It was tested standalone on June 22, 1956 in shot Redwing Inca. It was tested again as the primary of a thermonuclear device on July 2, 1956 in shot Redwing Mohawk. Both tests were successful. It subsequently served as the primary in numerous thermonuclear devices during the 1950s.

Most subsequent U.S. primaries are Swan-derived, including the Robin, the Tsetse, the Python, and the much later (asymmetrical) ovoid (prolate) primaries such as the Komodo used in the W88.

Swan (film)

Swan ( Portuguese: Cisne) is a 2011 Portuguese film directed by Teresa Villaverde.

Swan (surname)

Swan is an American, Australian, Brazilian, Canadian, English, Finnish, and Irish surname. Notable people with the surname include:

  • Anni Swan (1875–1958), Finnish writer
  • Astrid Swan (1982–), Finnish musician and singer
  • Barbara Swan (1922–2003), American artist
  • Carole Swan, Canadian public servant, President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Guy Swan, United States Army Lft. general
  • Isabel Swan (1983–), Brazilian sailor
  • James Swan (1974–), Australian boxer
  • James Swan, (1811–1891) Australian politician, Mayor of Brisbane
  • James Swan, (1903–1977), American politician
  • James Gilchrist Swan, (1818–1900), U.S. Indian agent
  • Jeremy Swan (1922–2005), Irish cardiologist
  • Kal Swan, Scottish-born vocalist
  • John "Swanee" Swan (1952–), Australian rock singer
  • Joseph Swan (1828–1914), English physicist and chemist
  • Richard Swan, American mathematician
  • Wayne Swan (1954–), Australian politician, Treasurer of Australia (2007–2013)

Usage examples of "swan".

I see more of Charlie than he sees of me, for I am now thoroughly dug in at my stable clinic, and from my private hideout and post of observation in the tower -- yes, there is even a neat little tower on this archidiaconal horse-palace, to echo the larger tower of the same design on Glebe House -- I see him swanning around looking at once medieval and thoroughly of the moment, a priest among his people.

When we take the field our banner will not be any monkish device, but the silver knot of Stafford and the swan of Bohun.

This table was of palisander wood and supported by the semblance of a swan.

He had been watching Lone and Swan and the dog, trailing certain tracks through the sagebrush down below, and when Lorraine rode away from the Quirt they were in the wagon road, fussing around the place where Frank had been found.

But one summer day he steered it off the gorge road on a return trip from a wood run to Conejos Junction, was somehow thrown clear onto a ledge, and from that spectacular vantage point he watched his rattletrap do a swan dive into the Rio Grande eight hundred feet below.

But Francoise, her counsellor, induced her to decide on the white suit, pointing out that the Rosier would look like a swan.

Well, tae be quite honest, ah wis awright, in fact ah wis like a fly in the maist deliciously toxic form ay shite ye could get, jist swanning roond the record shops checkin oot aw the Eurotechno stuff.

Followed a solo dance by Ravinski in which he gave full vent to the anguish of the bereft lover, while now and again the swan swam statelily by him.

They had, by this time, drifted past the Steelyard and were converging on the Old Swan Stairs, just above London Bridge.

 She was tall and proud, and sat on the trotting strich as calmly as a swan on a pond.

They glided through the water like giant swans, large eyes looking down into the sunstruck sea for schools of fish.

The Swan tavern was not hard to find, for it had an open door from which slanted a broad band of light that illuminated a white Swan on a scarlet ground on a board surmounting a pollarded willow.

It was fine cambric, trimmed with lacework, with the swan of House Courcel embroidered small in one corner.

Keeping her face, that was small with sickness, but not uncomely, firmly lifted and fronting ahead, the young woman sailed on past the market-place, like a black swan of mournful, disreputable plumage.

We heard a whirring whoosh like an entire flock of swans whistling through the air overhead.