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adj. swift·er, swift·est
1. Moving or capable of moving with great speed; fast. See Synonyms at fast1.
2. Coming, occurring, or accomplished quickly: a swift retort.
3. Quick to act or react: swift to take revenge.
Swiftly. Often used in combination: swift-running.
a. A cylinder on a carding machine.
b. A reel used to hold yarn as it is being wound off.
2. Any of various small dark insect-eating birds of the family Apodidae, having long pointed wings and a short forked tail, and noted for their swift flight.
3. Any of various small, fast-moving North American lizards, especially of the genus Sceloporus.

[Middle English, from Old English.]

swift′ly adv.
swift′ness n.


(Nautical Terms) nautical a line run around the ends of capstan bars to prevent their falling out of their sockets
[C17: related to the nautical term swift to fasten with tight-drawn ropes; probably Scandinavian in origin: compare Old Norse svipta to reef]
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Hawkeye exclaimed, dropping the useless piece in bitter disappointment; "the miscreant has struck the rapid; and had we powder, it could hardly send the lead swifter than he now goes
The trees impending over it had flung down great branches from time to time, which choked up the current, and compelled it to form eddies and black depths at some points; while, in its swifter and livelier passages there appeared a channel-way of pebbles, and brown, sparkling sand.
After that I was unhappy, for my brothers did not love me, because I was much cleverer than they, and had greater skill with the assegai, and was swifter in running; so they poisoned the mind of my father against me and he treated me badly.
I fled, but he pursu'd (though more, it seems, Inflam'd with lust then rage) and swifter far, Me overtook his mother all dismaid, And in embraces forcible and foule Ingendring with me, of that rape begot These yelling Monsters that with ceasless cry Surround me, as thou sawst, hourly conceiv'd And hourly born, with sorrow infinite To me, for when they list into the womb That bred them they return, and howle and gnaw My Bowels, their repast; then bursting forth Afresh with conscious terrours vex me round, That rest or intermission none I find.
They came in a troop, hustled along in the shadow by innumerable little hurried waves, swifter than the waves that rush over the sands at high tide, little night-waves foaming under the moon, under the fiery head that was like a moon.
Filled with joy at his cure, he tried to seize the bird to whom he owed it all, but, swifter than a swallow, it managed to avoid him.
Man's life alone, swifter than time, speeds onward to its end without any hope of renewal, save it be in that other life which is endless and boundless.
But it might have been noticed that the farther she got away from the company and the nearer to the edge of the woods, the swifter and straighter grew her pace.
For the penalty of unrighteousness is swifter than death; that penalty has already overtaken his accusers as death will soon overtake him.
For a time the bulls pursued; but presently, as the swifter outdistanced the slower and found themselves separated from their fellows they abandoned the chase, standing roaring and screaming until the jungle reverberated to their hideous noises.
The carts and carriages crowded close upon one another, making little way for those swifter and more impatient vehi- cles that darted forward every now and then when an opportunity showed itself of doing so, sending the people scattering against the fences and gates of the villas.
Love and regret go hand in hand in this world of changes swifter than the shifting of the clouds reflected in the mirror of the sea.