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

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

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What does the word swoon mean?

According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Dictionary and Dictionary, the word swoon is an intransitive verb that can either mean to faint or have a spontaneous loss of consciousness, or to enter a state of hysterical rapture or ecstasy. An apparent suspension of the vital functions could be caused by a loss of blood supply, insufficient blood, emotional distress, the mention of death, or some other great difficulty.This term is often used in the secondary sense with regard to a crush or love. Girls swoon over a handsome man and his good looks, a high school boy might swoon in real life or in movies or cheesy sitcoms, teenagers swoon over Japanese pop singers, and male characters swoon over different male characters. Swooning is common in romantic comedies and implies a sigh and a state of ecstasy. One could have a heart-stopping swoon over a pop star. The word swoon can also be used as a noun to refer to the fainting fit. Try using this word of the day and other other new words in a sentence today!

Many different languages have their own words for swoon. You may notice that some of these words look and sound similar to each other. When words look, sound, and mean something similar across languages, they are called cognates. These are often formed when two words have the same root word or language of origin such as Latin or Greek. This list of translations for the word swoon is provided by Word Sense

  • Japanese: 失神‎ (しっしん, shisshin), 気絶‎ (きぜつ, kizetsu)
  • Italian: spasmo‎ (masc.)
  • Portuguese: desmaio‎ (masc.)
  • French: pâmoison‎ (fem.)
  • Spanish: desmayo‎ (masc.)
  • Telugu: మూర్ఛ‎ (moorcha)
  • Scottish Gaelic: neul‎ (masc.)
  • Swedish: svimning‎, svimningsanfall‎
  • Irish: aisnéal‎ (masc.), fanntais‎ (fem.), laige‎ (fem.), néal‎ (masc.), támh‎ (fem.), támhnéal‎ (masc.)
  • Mandarin: 昏厥‎ (hūnjué)
  • Finnish: tajuttomuus‎
  • German: Ohnmacht‎ (fem.)
  • Dutch: bezwijming‎
  • Serbo-Croatian: nesvestica‎ (fem.)
  • Russian: о́бморок‎ (masc.), поте́ря созна́ния‎ (fem.)

What is the origin of the word swoon?

According to Etymonline, the word swoon has been used as a verb since circa 1200 to mean to become unconscious. This was probably taken from the lost O​​ld English āswōgan, swoon, or O​​ld English ġeswōgen meaning to choke, from the Middle English aswoune. These are of an unknown origin, but can be compared to the Low German swogen meaning to sign, as well as the Dutch zwoegen or the Middle English swownen. All of Proto-Germanic origins. As a noun in the 1300s, the word swoon was once written as suowne or suun referring to a state of unconsciousness. This probably comes from the Old English geswogen, from the same Proto-Indo-European source as the verb swoon. Related words include swooned and swooning.  

How can the word swoon be used in a sentence?

The word swoon can be used in many different circumstances to either describe a fainting spell or a fit of hysterics. In this first example, the word swoon will be used to refer to a loss of consciousness. Hannah tries to give blood at her school’s blood drive.

Hannah: Whoa, what happened?

Nurse: You swooned. Whole face went pale, and you were down for the count. Here, have some crackers and juice.

Hannah: How long was I out?

Nurse: Oh, an hour.

Hannah: I missed my math test.

Here, the nurse uses the word swoon to tell Hannah that she fainted. In this next example, Hannah’s friends are watching a video of a male pop star. They are giggling and squealing.

Friend 1: Did you see the new music video?

Friend 2: Only a hundred times!

Friend 1: OMG, I like can’t handle it!

Friend 2: Me neither?

Hannah: The way you two swoon over this guy, I swear it’s like he’s a god to you.

Friend 1: Well, never say never.

Here, Hannah uses the word swoon to refer to the reverence and hysterics that her friends feel for the pop star.

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word swoon?

There are many different words and phrases that one can use in place of the word swoon. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same definition as other words and phrases. Synonyms are an easy way to expand your English language vocabulary, and can be useful in helping one to avoid repeating themselves. This list of synonyms for the word swoon is provided by Thesaurus

  • swim
  • go out like a light
  • pass out
  • drop
  • flicker
  • twirl
  • fall
  • revolve
  • titubate
  • lose consciousness
  • wheel
  • swing
  • careen
  • stagger
  • become unconscious
  • be overcome
  • fade
  • weaken
  • collapse
  • keel over
  • stumble
  • go out like light
  • roll
  • weakness
  • overrun
  • black out
  • lurch
  • faint
  • shake
  • deliquium
  • turn
  • sway
  • feel lightheaded
  • swirl
  • waver
  • pitch
  • feel giddy
  • languish
  • go around
  • whirl
  • weave
  • falter
  • conk
  • rock
  • succumb
  • bob
  • totter
  • teeter
  • fail

There are also many different words that mean the opposite of the word swoon. These are called antonyms. Learning synonyms is another easy way to expand your English vocabulary. This list of opposite words for the word swoon is also provided by Thesaurus

  • raise
  • perk up
  • rise
  • awake
  • move up
  • improve
  • wax
  • enlarge
  • blast off
  • levitate
  • intensify
  • go through the roof
  • expand
  • take off
  • redouble
  • surge
  • heighten
  • pick up
  • augment
  • spread
  • double
  • distend
  • arise
  • soar
  • up
  • mount
  • sprout
  • have foundation
  • get out of bed
  • scale
  • stack up
  • speed up
  • accelerate
  • rouse
  • bob up
  • stand up
  • deepen
  • tower
  • sweep upward
  • climb
  • magnify
  • lift
  • slope upwards
  • roll out
  • be located
  • bulge
  • be erect
  • get up
  • sit up
  • multiply
  • come up
  • upsurge
  • aspire
  • arouse
  • grow
  • pile up
  • aggravate
  • ascend
  • pile out
  • straighten up
  • inflate
  • go uphill
  • reach up
  • intensate
  • upspring
  • swell
  • be situated
  • push up
  • turn out
  • surface
  • get to one’s feet
  • advance
  • build
  • enhance
  • add to
  • rocket
  • surmount
  • rise and shine
  • rise up
  • get steeper
  • billow

Overall, the word swoon means to faint or lose consciousness, or to enter a hysterical fit of ecstasy. It is most commonly used with the second definition, and can also be used as a noun to describe said fainting or fit. Women swoon over handsome actors, men swoon on their wedding day; anyone can swoon! The word swoon is of unknown origin. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/swoon
  2. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/rise
  3. https://www.wordsense.eu/swoon/
  4. https://www.etymonline.com/word/swoon#etymonline_v_22502
  5. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swoon#:~:text=Definition%20of%20swoon%20(Entry%202,state%20of%20suspended%20animation%20%3A%20torpor
  6. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/swoon