If you have ever been curious about the correct past tense of swim, this article will clear that up plus give you a look into the history of the word, the definition, and everything else you could want to learn about using the word in the English language.
What Is the Definition of the Word Swim?
The English verb swim is defined as:
- : to propel oneself in water by natural means (such as movements of the limbs, fins, or tail)
- to play in the water (as at a beach or swimming pool)
- to move with a motion like that of swimming: GLIDE
- a cloud swam slowly across the moon
- to float on a liquid: not sink
- to surmount difficulties: not go under
- sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish— Daniel Webster
- to become immersed in or flooded with or as if with a liquid
- potatoes swimming in gravy
- to have a floating or reeling appearance or sensation
- to cross by propelling oneself through water
- swim a stream
- to cause to swim or float
- a smooth gliding motion
- a temporary dizziness or unconsciousness
- an area frequented by fish
- the main current of activity
How Do You Conjugate Swim?
Here are the other verb conjugations of the irregular verb swim:
Base Form (Infinitive):
Simple Past Tense:
Simple Present Tense, Third Person Singular, He/She/It:
Present Perfect Tense:
The History and Origin of the Word
The Old English word swimman, to move in or on the water, is from the Proto-Germanic word swimjan from PIE root swem, which means to be in motion. It has been said this word is unique to German, however other languages such as Welsh, Irish, and Lithuania. In the 15th century the figurative phrase sink or swim was used in the events there was a suspected witch. In the 1500s the transitive sense meant to cross by swimming. To reel or move unsteadily was used in the late 1600s, and in the 1700s swim was used to refer to the head, for example, my head is swimming.
In the 1540s the word swim was used to describe the clear part of a body of water above the sediment. In the 1800s the word was used by fishermen to describe part of a river where fish frequently visit. This century also used the word in a figurative sense meaning the current or latest affairs. The simple act of swimming was used in the 1700s for example, I am going for a swim.
Synonyms of Swim
- Reel- to turn or move round and round
- Spin- the act of spinning or twirling something
- Turn- to cause to move around an axis or a center: make rotate or revolve
- Whirl- to move in a circle or similar curve especially with force or speed
- Blackout- a transient dulling or loss of vision, consciousness, or memory
- an alcoholic blackout
- Faint- weak, dizzy, and likely to faint
- sick and faint from the pain— Jack London
- Insensibility- incapable or bereft of feeling or sensation:
- lacking sensory perception or ability to react
- Insensible to pain
- Knockout- the act of knocking out: the condition of being knocked out
- Swoon- a partial or total loss of consciousness
- Syncope- loss of consciousness resulting from insufficient blood flow to the brain: FAINT
Example Sentences With the Word Swim
- I am swimming in the ocean.
- The room swam before my eyes.
- the merest glimpse of blood sends him into a swim.
- I am going for a swim.
Examples of the Word in Context
- They are joined by swim instructors Scott Tolomeo and Jorge D’Ugard.
Emmett Hall, sun-sentinel.com, “Sunrise Swimming Club members adapt to the times,” 3 Sep. 2020
- Rivard’s swim cost her family around $15,000, about a third of which was covered by donations and sponsorships, the Valley News reported.
Thalia Beaty, Star Tribune, “New Hampshire 16-year-old swims across English Channel,” 3 Sep. 2020
- Dozens of pages address other issues related to the swim team and claims of dysfunction in the athletic department in the years since.
Rachel Axon, USA TODAY, “San Jose State head trainer steps down amid investigation of past sexual misconduct allegations,” 2 Sep. 2020
- In aquatic sports, the lineup was to have included men’s NCAA swimming, a water polo Intercontinental Cup, a pro swim meet, diving’s U.S. Olympic Trials, and the USA Swimming Invitational (combining former U.S. Open and junior nationals).
David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, “Canceled sporting events and lost conventions: How Indianapolis hopes to bounce back.,” 29 Aug. 2020
- District spokeswoman Jennifer DeShazo said those ordered to stay home included members of a swim team and students who traveled on one of the bus routes.
orlandosentinel.com, “More than 200 Florida students quarantined due to COVID-19,” 19 Aug. 2020
- Three 15-year-old girls reported that around 9:15 p.m. on Aug. 16, they were approached by a naked man near the dunes south of the swim beach at 700 Michigan Ave.
Karen Ann Cullotta, chicagotribune.com, “Blotter: Naked man at Gillson Beach, counterfeit bills passed at Jewel,” 18 Aug. 2020
Next time you need to write the word swim, you will be well prepared for everything you need to know what it is and how to use it efficiently within English grammar. You should feel confident with the different conjugations, the history of the word, and the definition.