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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Sware \Sware\, imp. of Swear. [Obs. or Poetic]

Cophetua sware a royal oath.


Swear \Swear\, v. i. [imp. Swore, formerly Sware; p. p. Sworn; p. pr. & vb. n. Swearing.] [OE. swerien, AS. swerian; akin to D. zweren, OS. swerian, OHG. swerien, G. schw["o]ren, Icel. sverja, Sw. sv["a]rja, Dan. sv[ae]rge, Icel. & Sw. svara to answer, Dan. svare, Dan. & Sw. svar an answer, Goth. swaran to swear, and perhaps to E. swarm.

  1. 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.

    Ye shall swear by my name falsely.
    --Lev. xix. 1

  2. I swear by all the Roman gods.

    2. (Law) To give evidence on oath; as, to swear to the truth of a statement; he swore against the prisoner.

  3. 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.

    [I] swore little; diced not above seven times a week.

    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]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

obsolete or archaic past tense of swear (v.), common 15c.-17c. by analogy of past tense of bear (v.).


vb. (context archaic English) (en-simple past of: swear)

Usage examples of "sware".

Then Flumen sware by wind and wave, by storm and stream, by rain and river, by pond and pool, by flood and fountain, by dyke and dam.

So he sware, and even as the Name passed his teeth, the gobbets of foam floated forth from the gate, and the water-weed writhed away with the stream, and the river flowed fair and softly, with a sound like singing.

From mine own lips the precious oracles, That soothed the trouble of their souls, appeased Their spiritual hunger, and disclosed All of the God within them to themselves, They flocked about me, and they hailed me saint, And sware to follow and to serve the good Which my word published and my life declared.

SEMICHORUS I Out of six thousand souls that sware To hold the mount, or pass elsewhere, But eighteen hundred muster there.

Stallholders were busy arranging their wares, jewellery, pottery, cakes, books, bras sware and all manner of items on long trestle tables.

I heard the sound, I saw the light, But since I did not see the Holy Thing, I sware a vow to follow it till I saw.

Horrible sware and cursse and did felonoslye use threatteninge words and did strike and cutte most murtherouslye severalle subjects of our Soveraigne Lord the Kinge.

He sware to our father Abraham, that He would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life.

I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into covenant with thee, saith the Lord, and thou becamest Mine.

In the preterit some are likewise formed by a, as brake, spake, bare, share, sware, tare, ware, clave, gat, begat, forgat, and perhaps some others, but more rarely.

I will do it, said Sir Bromel, and that he sware upon the cross of the sword.

  To resoom--Old Brown rushes down to the footlites, gits down on his nees & swares he'll hav revenge.