Middle English Dictionary Entry

swift(e adj.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) In rapid motion, moving quickly, fast; of movement: characterized by high speed or rapid velocity; also, in adverbial phrase: comen swiftere cours, to come more swiftly; (b) capable of rapid movement; able to run fast, fleet; also fig.; as noun: swift horses [quot. a1382]; sup. as noun: the swiftest arrow [quot. a1425(?a1400)]; ~ horsed, provided with a fast horse; ~ of (in) cours, ~ on fot, fleet; ~ of flight (wing), swift of flight (wing), able to fly swiftly; (c) of wings, feathers: producing rapid flight; also in fig. context; ~ to flight, swift in flight; (d) of water, a stream, wind: fast-moving, swiftly rushing; of a flood of water: swiftly rising; also, fig. of joy: rising; (e) of the pulse: beating rapidly; of breathing: quickened, panting; (f) of rumor, report: quick-spreading; of thought: rapid; (g) of the tongue: articulate; quick to speak, garrulous; (h) transient, fleeting, brief; (i) the word 'swift'; (j) in conventional comparisons and prov. expressions.
(a) Prompt, quick-acting; of a people: hasty to act; with inf.: prompt (to do sth.); ready (to do sth.), prepared (to do sth.) promptly; also, too quick (to do sth.), over-hasty; ~ to ivel, disposed to do evil; (b) timely, done without delay; of an event: soon to come, swiftly ensuing; of an answer: ready, given immediately; of feasting: ?done quickly; (c) agile, lively, active; (d) adept, apt; clever; (e) easily accomplished; ben of ~ dislocacioun, to be easy to dislocate.
In surnames and as place name.