Definitions for: Swift


[n] common western lizard; seen on logs or rocks
[n] small plain-colored bird that resembles a swallow and is noted for its rapid flight
[n] an English satirist born in Ireland (1667-1745)
[n] United States meat-packer who began the use of refrigerated railroad cars (1839-1903)
[adj] moving very fast; "fleet of foot"; "the fleet scurrying of squirrels"; "a swift current"; "swift flight of an arrow"; "a swift runner"



Webster (1913) Definition: Swift, a. [Compar. Swifter; superl. Swiftest.] [AS.
swift; akin to sw[=a]pan to sweep, swipu a whip; cf.
sw[=i]fan to move quickly, to revolve. See Swoop, v. i.,
and cf. Swivel, Squib.]
1. Moving a great distance in a short time; moving with
celerity or velocity; fleet; rapid; quick; speedy; prompt.

My beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear,
slow to speak, slow to wrath. --James i. 19.

Swift of dispatch and easy of access. --Dryden.

And bring upon themselves swift destruction. --2
Pet. ii. 1.

2. Of short continuance; passing away quickly. --Shak.

Note: Swift is often used in the formation of compounds which
are generally self-explaining; as, swift-darting,
swift-footed, swift-winged, etc.

Syn: Quick; fleet; speedy; rapid; expeditious.


Swift, adv.
Swiftly. [Obs. or Poetic] --Shak.

Ply swift and strong the oar. --Southey.


Swift, n.
1. The current of a stream. [R.] --Walton.

2. (Zo["o]l.) Any one of numerous species of small,
long-winged, insectivorous birds of the family
Micropodid[ae]. 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.

Note: The common European swift ({Cypselus, or Micropus,
apus}) nests in church steeples and under the tiles of
roofs, and is noted for its rapid flight and shrill
screams. It is called also black martin, {black
swift}, hawk swallow, devil bird, swingdevil,
screech martin, and shreik owl. The common
American, or chimney, swift (Ch[ae]tura pelagica) has
sharp rigid tips to the tail feathers. It attaches its
nest to the inner walls of chimneys, and is called also
chimney swallow. The Australian swift ({Ch[ae]tura
caudacuta}) also has sharp naked tips to the tail
quills. The European Alpine swift (Cypselus melba) is
whitish beneath, with a white band across the breast.
The common Indian swift is Cypselus affinis. See also
Palm swift, under Palm, and Tree swift, under
Tree.

3. (Zo["o]l.) Any one of several species of lizards, as the
pine lizard.

4. (Zo["o]l.) The ghost moth. See under Ghost.

5. [Cf. Swivel.] A reel, or turning instrument, for winding
yarn, thread, etc.; -- used chiefly in the plural.

6. The main card cylinder of a flax-carding machine.

Synonyms: blue-belly, Dean Swift, fast, fleet, Gustavus Franklin Swift, Jonathan Swift, Sceloporus occidentalis, western fence lizard

See Also: Apodidae, apodiform bird, Apus apus, Chateura pelagica, chimney swallow, chimney swift, Collocalia inexpectata, European swift, family Apodidae, fence lizard, ironist, meat packer, packer, ridiculer, satirist, swiftlet

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