The Meaning of Swat: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of swat? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word swat, including its definition, usage, examples, and more!

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What does the word swat mean?

According to Definitions and LAPD Online, the word swat can be used as a verb to mean to hit swiftly with a sharp blow, or as a noun to refer to said violent blow. People usually use this term to swat flies, bugs, or insects, to swat a ball somewhere like an outfield, or giving someone punches or a swat on the arm. The pronunciation of swat is ˈswɒt.

The SWAT team, however, is an abbreviation. This acronym stands for special weapons and tactics – S(pecial) W(eapons) a(nd) T(actics) – and is a specialized law enforcement unit that uses military equipment and tactics. This first SWAT unit was created in the 1960s, initially as a part of riot control and to handle violent confrontations with criminals. The usage of SWAT teams increased in the 1980s and 1990s as a part of the war on drugs, and later increased further after the September 11 attacks in 2001. These paramilitary police units, or PPUs, are responsible for deploying against threats of terrorism, to handle crowd control, for hostage rescue, and more high-risk situations that are outside the realm of ordinary law enforcement agencies like police officers. SWAT units can control riots and apprehend suspects, and often use tear gas and pepper spray. This special section of some law enforcement agencies is deployed by the US police force as a military-like unit to handle violent situations, civil unrest like the Watts riots, things involving search warrants, and other scenarios. They have heavy body armor and some are snipers that use sniper rifles, while others use assault rifles or riot shotguns. The Los Angeles Police Department uses their police facilities in the metropolitan division for monthly training for SWAT units so they are prepared to take on armed criminals, hostage takers, or other militant groups with things like stun grenades or ballistic shields, as well as entry tools for getting into places. Their rights are outside the capabilities of ordinary law enforcement and they use these riot guns, submachine guns, and night vision devices to address critical incidents with corporal punishment. Other countries have their own paramilitary police units, which is a more generic term for a SWAT team. The goal of these tactics units are to create civil order.

The acronym SWAT can stand for a plethora of other things. However, these meanings are far less common. If you decide to use one of these alternate definitions, make sure that you provide the reader or listener with the proper context so that they can infer the correct meaning. This list of abbreviations is provided by The Free Dictionary.

  •  Scout Water Activity Team
  •  Soil and Water Assessment Tool (river basin model)
  •  Sexy without Actually Trying (clothing line; Swathearts)
  •  Soldiers with a Testimony (youth group; various locations)
  •  System Wide Analysis Team
  •  Students With A Testimony
  •  South West Alief Texas
  •  Symbolic, Written, Audio, Technical
  •  Special Winning Attitude Team
  •  Sisters With A Throttle (motorcycle club)
  •  Ship What’s Available Today
  •  Switch Assembly Test
  •  Students with a Target (student/police partnership program in Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
  •  Skilled Workers with Advanced Tools
  •  Softball with an Attitude (softball team; Philadelphia, PA)
  •  Students Winning Against Tobacco (Texas)
  •  Soul Winning Across Town
  •  Staff Without Adequate Training
  •  Surface Weapons Against Torpedoes
  •  Satellite, Wideband, and Telemetry (systems)
  •  Sex Workers’ Alliance of Toronto
  •  Short Wavelength Adaptive Technology
  •  Submillimeter Wave Advanced Technology
  •  Students Working to Advance Technology
  •  Stress Wave Analysis Technique
  •  Students Working Against Tobacco
  •  Strengths, Weaknesses, Achievements & Threats (assessment)
  •  Scientific Wild Ass Guess
  •  Sell What’s Available Today
  •  Soldiers with Apostolic Truth
  •  Server, Workstation And Technology Group
  •  Strategic Weapons and Tactics (TV show)
  •  Special Warfare Assault Team (Call of Duty gaming clan)
  •  surface water assessment team
  •  Spiritual Warfare and Training (youth ministry)
  •  Seeking Wisdom and Truth (Christianity)
  •  Southwest Area Vocational-Technical (school)
  •  Software Analysis and Testing (or Quality Assurance)
  •  Skilled With Advanced Tools (software development)
  •  Southwest Association of Trackers
  •  Samba Web Administration Tool
  •  Squad Weapons Analytical Trainer
  •  Soccer with Attitude
  •  Specialists With Advanced Tools
  •  South West Angels of Terror (roller derby team)
  •  Subjective Workload Assessment Technique
  •  Sanibel Water Attack Team (swimming)
  •  Solid Waste Assessment Team
  •  Special Weapons Attack Team (original name; now usually seen as Special Weapons And Tactics)
  •  Sticks With Ass-kicking Tactics
  •  Software Wireless Access Tandem
  •  Surface Water Ambient Toxics Monitoring Program (Maine)
  •  Saints With A Testimony (LDS church)
  •  Soul Winning and Training (Baptist church)
  •  Service Weapons Acceptability Test
  •  SouthWest Airedale Terriers
  •  Solutions with Advanced Technologies (Cisco)
  •  Southwest Aquatics of Texas
  •  Sick Wild and Twisted (band)
  •  Satellite-Based Worldwide Availability Tool
  •  Subsea Well Abandonment Tool
  •  Servants with A Testimony
  •  Strengths, Weakness, Advantages & Threats (assessment)
  •  Seeds, Weeds, And Trash
  •  Severe Wastewater Analysis Test (coating performance evaluation; Tnemec)
  •  Solid Waste Assessment Test
  •  Scandinavian Workshop on Algorithm Theory
  •  Soul Winning Attack Team (Fayetteville, GA)
  •  Swift Action Team
  •  Seattle Washington Autoduel Team
  •  Secure Wire Access Terminal

According to Visit Swat Valley, Swat Valley is also a place in Pakistan. This is both a valley, a river, and a district in the NWFP administrative province of Pakistan. The Swat river flows into the Kabul river, which is north of Peshawar. Swat was a former princely state of NW India. The district of Swat is also close to the Indus River, and has become a great headquarters of Buddhism in the valley of Dir.

Overall, the word swat means many different things, including to whack something, a place in NE Pakistan and a tactical unit of station defense teams who are responsible for high-risk operations and providing security. Try making flashcards or using this word on Facebook or Twitter to memorize its definition!


  1. SWAT – What is Swat? | Visit Swat Valley 
  2. History of SWAT | LAPD Online 
  3. What does SWAT mean? | Definitions 
  4. SWAT – What does SWAT stand for? | The Free Dictionary