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swim - definition and synonyms


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verb swim pronunciation in British English /swɪm/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleswimming
past tenseswam
past participleswum
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  1. 1
    [intransitive] to move through water by making movements with your arms and legs

    Pollution has made it unsafe to swim in the lake.

    Can you swim?

    1. a.
      [transitive] to swim a particular distance, or to swim in a race

      He swam 500 metres to shore.

      the first woman to swim the English Channel

    2. b.
      [transitive] to swim in a particular style

      He can swim breaststroke and backstroke.

    3. c.
      [intransitive] if fish swim, they move in water
  2. 2
    [intransitive] if your head or eyes are swimming, you cannot think or see clearly, usually because you are tired or ill
    1. a.
      if things swim, they appear to be moving, usually because you are tired or ill

sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

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an electric skateboard

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