Definitions of swift

  1. common western lizard; seen on logs or rocks
  2. an English satirist born in Ireland ( 1667- 1745)
  3. moving very fast; " fleet of foot"; " the fleet scurrying of squirrels"; " a swift current"; " swift flight of an arrow"; " a swift runner"
  4. United States meat- packer who began the use of refrigerated railroad cars ( 1839- 1903)
  5. small plain- colored bird that resembles a swallow and is noted for its rapid flight
  6. Moving a great distance in a short time; moving with celerity or velocity; fleet; rapid; quick; speedy; prompt.
  7. Swiftly.
  8. The current of a stream.
  9. Any one of numerous species of small, long- winged, insectivorous birds of the family Micropodidae. In form and habits the swifts resemble swallows, but they are destitute of complex vocal muscles and are not singing birds, but belong to a widely different group allied to the humming birds.
  10. Any one of several species of lizards, as the pine lizard.
  11. The ghost moth. See under Ghost.
  12. A reel, or turning instrument, for winding yarn, thread, etc.; -- used chiefly in the plural.
  13. The main card cylinder of a flax- carding machine.
  14. Rapidly.
  15. Moving far in a short time; rapid; speedy; passing quickly; as, the swift hours, acting quickly; prompt; as, swift to answer.
  16. A bird of the humming- bird family, but resembling the swallow; a kind of moth.
  17. Swiftness.
  18. The current of a stream. " He can live in the strongest swifts of the water."- Iz. Walton. ( Rare): a reel or turning instrument for winding yarn: the common name of birds of the genus Cypselus, family Cypselidae. They have an outward resemblance to the swallows, but differ much from them in various structural points. The common swift ( C. apus) has the greatest powers of flight of any bird that visits Britain. Its color is in general a sombre or sooty black, with a grayish- white patch under the chin. The beak is black, shorter than that of the swallow, and without the lateral bristles. The wings are even longer than those of the swallow, and are sickle- shaped. The tarsi are short, and feathered to the toes, which are all directed forwards. The swifts pass most of their time in the air, where they pursue their insect prey. Their flight is swift and shooting, and their scream very different from the twittering of the swallow. They build their nests in holes in the walls of houses, in rocks, and sometimes in hollow trees. The swift reaches its summer quarters later, and leaves earlier than the swallows. Another species, the white- bellied or Alpine swift ( C. alpinus), is known in Gt. Britain, but it is only a rare straggler. The weight of the swift is most disproportionately small to its extent of wing, the former being scarcely an ounce, the latter 18 inches, the length of the body being near 8 inches. The swift is widely spread through Europe, Asia, and Africa. The American swift ( Choetura pelasgia) is smaller, has the hind- toe directed backwards, and the tail- feathers stiff as in woodpeckers. It is commonly called the chimney swallow: the common newt or eft, a species of lizard.
  19. Moving with great speed, celerity, velocity, or rapidity; fleet; rapid; quick; speedy; " The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong."- Eccles. ix. 11.; ready; prompt; quick; " Having so swift and excellent a wit."- Shak.; " Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath." - Jam. i. 19: coming suddenly, without delay; " There shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." - 2 Pet. ii. 2: of short continuance; rapidly passing; " Make swift the pangs of my queens travails."- Shak.
  20. In a swift or rapid manner: swiftly. " Light boats sail swift."- Shak.
  21. A kind of swallow.
  22. Fleet; rapid; quick.
  23. Moving rapidly; fleet; rapid; quick.
  24. Passing rapidly; brief.
  25. Unexpected; sudden.
  26. A swallow- like bird, as the chimney swift.
  27. Moving with celerity or velocity; fleet; ready; prompt; speedy; expeditious.
  28. A bird of the swallow family, of swift flight and almost constantly on the wing; the common newt; a reel for winding yarn; the current of a stream.
  29. Moving a great distance in a short time; quick; nimble; speedy; ready.
  30. A bird of the swallow tribe, so called from the rapidity of its flight.

Usage examples for swift

  1. Leger flashed a swift glance at him and pointed towards the door. – Delilah of the Snows by Harold Bindloss
  2. What message awaited her at the inn to which they were travelling at this swift pace? – Checkmate by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
  3. But in irony he has, with the exception of Pascal and Swift, no superior. – A Short History of French Literature by George Saintsbury
  4. Piers looked at her, and as he did so there arose in his mind the swift remembrance of her face as she had sat upon the pebbly beach a few days before- the face on which he had read tragedy. – A Question of Marriage by Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
  5. Together they would pass swift as thought from earth to heaven. – The Measure of a Man by Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
  6. And perhaps it was because Olwen was busy with her own effort not to look at one of them that she did not notice Mrs. Cartwright's swift glance at the other; the flying boy. – The Disturbing Charm by Berta Ruck
  7. With a swift gesture, Thayer caught the man's attention, and shook his head. – The Dominant Strain by Anna Chapin Ray
  8. He gave one swift glance behind him. – The Flight of the Shadow by George MacDonald
  9. He should be swift to hold And swift to part with truth, as from a spring. – Love Letters of a Violinist and Other Poems by Eric Mackay
  10. Captain Reefwell's words sent a shudder straight and swift through Major Maunsell's heart. – The Wreckers of Sable Island by J. Macdonald Oxley
  11. Tom Swift knew it. – Tom Swift and his Electric Locomotive or, Two Miles a Minute on the Rails by Victor Appleton
  12. She stopped him with a swift gesture. – An Alabaster Box by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman and Florence Morse Kingsley
  13. He is not r- rich, Max, and he is a little what you call swift, eh? – A Tar-Heel Baron by Mabell Shippie Clarke Pelton
  14. Thy wind send To blow care away, To bring joy to- day; Make Eyes keen, Make Hands swift for play. – Indian Games and Dances with Native Songs by Alice C. Fletcher
  15. At hearing that the deacon cast a swift look toward his wife, which she returned in kind. – The Chums of Scranton High at Ice Hockey by Donald Ferguson
  16. An instant later he had joined the eagle and Twinkle, and was flying as hard and swift as his wonderful lark wings could carry him up, up into the blue sky. – Policeman Bluejay by L. Frank Baum
  17. My imagination played with the thought of what they were doing at the other end of their swift voyage through the air. – A Minstrel In France by Harry Lauder
  18. But- look here, Swift- you haven'texamined the body yet, have you? – The Paternoster Ruby by Charles Edmonds Walk