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verb swear pronunciation in British English /sweə(r)/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleswearing
past tenseswore
past participlesworn
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to use words that are deliberately offensive, for example because you are angry with someone

    That’s the first time I’ve ever heard him swear.

    swear at:

    She was shouting and swearing at everyone.

    swear profusely:

    I hammered my thumb and then swore profusely.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to make a sincere statement that you are telling the truth

    I’ve never seen him before – I swear!

    swear (that):

    She swears that this is the man who attacked her.

  3. 3
    [transitive] to make a promise to do something
    swear (that):

    You swore that you would never see her again.

    swear to do something:

    He swore to stay out of politics when he retired.

    swear vengeance against/on someone (=promise to punish them):

    Marshall swore vengeance against his brother’s killers.

    1. a.
      [intransitive/transitive] to make a formal promise to be loyal or to tell the truth

      Members have to swear an oath of secrecy.

      swear (your) allegiance to someone (=promise to be loyal):

      They have to swear allegiance to the Queen.



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a derogatory word used for referring to people in the banking and investment industry who are thought of as taking serious risks in order to increase their own earnings …

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