swimming


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swim against the stream

To act or behave in opposition or contrary to what is generally understood, assumed, practiced, or accepted. I had to swim against the stream to get the company to adopt more eco-friendly habits, but I think it will be worth it in the long run.
See also: stream, swim

be swimming with the fishes

gangster cliché To be murdered and have one's body disposed of in a river, lake, or ocean. (A less common variant of "be sleeping with the fishes.") Don't worry, boss, that no-good snitch will be swimming with the fishes before sunrise.
See also: Fishes, swimming

swim upstream

To go against or disagree with a prevailing or popularly held opinion or perspective; to act or behave contrary to the majority of others. When I was in college, I really swam upstream with some radical opinions, but as I've grown older, I've found myself falling more in line with others. I don't understand why you always have to swim upstream instead of making things a little easier on yourself!
See also: swim

swim with the current

To go along or agree with the prevailing or popularly held opinion or perspective; to act or behave the same way as the majority of others. When I was in college, I used to have a lot of radical opinions and beliefs, but as I've grown older, I find myself swimming with the current more often. I'm sorry, but I simply refuse to swim along with the current just because it's the easier option!
See also: current, swim

swim with the stream

To go along or agree with the prevailing or popularly held opinion or perspective; to act or behave the same way as the majority of others. When I was in college, I used to have a lot of radical opinions and beliefs, but as I've grown older, I find myself swimming with the stream more often. I'm sorry, but I simply refuse to swim along with the stream just because it's the easier option!
See also: stream, swim

swim with sharks

1. Literally, to be in the water with sharks. My brother is a real adventurer—he's bungee jumped before and has even swam with sharks!
2. To be involved with cunning, possibly dangerous, people. I know you think you're a hustler, but you're swimming with sharks now—you could lose all your money against these guys. Before you start swimming with sharks, consider this—the last guy who went into business with them wound up dead!
See also: shark, swim

swim with the tide

To go along or agree with the prevailing or popularly held opinion or perspective; to act or behave the same way as the majority of others. When I was in college, I used to have a lot of radical opinions and beliefs, but as I've grown older I find myself swimming with the tide more often. I'm sorry, but I simply refuse to swim with the tide just because it's the easier option!
See also: swim, tide

swim against the current

To go against or disagree with a prevailing or popularly held opinion or perspective; to act or behave contrary to the majority of others. I really swam against the current when I was in college with some radical opinions, but as I've grown older I've found myself falling more in line with others. I don't understand why you always have to swim against the current instead of making things a little easier on yourself!
See also: current, swim

swim against the tide

To go against or disagree with a prevailing or popularly held opinion or perspective; to act or behave contrary to the majority of others. I really swam against the tide when I was in college with some radical opinions, but as I've grown older I've found myself falling more in line with others. I don't understand why you always have to swim against the tide instead of making things a little easier on yourself!
See also: swim, tide

swim in (something)

1. Literally, to immerse oneself in a pool or body of water and swim in it. We went swimming in the lake out back every day during the summer.
2. By extension, to be totally covered with or submerged in some liquid. There were a few measly strawberries swimming in cream, so it wasn't much of a dessert.
3. To have or experience an abundance or overabundance of something. Don't worry about your cousins, their parents are swimming in money. You don't need any more toys—you and your sister are positively swimming in them. When we opened our doors, we were swimming in customers within minutes.
See also: swim

swim around

1. Literally, to swim (in something or some place) aimlessly or from place to place. We spent the whole afternoon swimming around in the lake by the cabin. The water in the pool is shallow enough that kids can just swim around on their own.
2. To flit around (in something or some place) very quickly or intangibly. I had so many people's names swimming around in my head by the end of the evening that I couldn't keep any of them straight. There are some rumors swimming around that the company is going to start laying people off.
See also: around, swim

swim in front of (one's) eyes

To appear in or cloud one's vision. Usually said of floaters (clumps of fibers in the eye) or rings, spots, or flashes of light or dark (called phosphenes). I stood up too quickly, causing flashes of light to swim in front of my eyes. A: "My daughter's had these floaters swimming in front of her eyes recently." B: "Isn't she a bit young for that to be happening?"
See also: eye, front, of, swim

swim before (one's) eyes

To appear in or cloud one's vision. Usually said of floaters (clumps of fibers in the eye) or rings, spots, or flashes of light (called phosphenes). I stood up too quickly, causing flashes of light to swim before my eyes. A: "My daughter's had these floaters swimming before her eyes recently." B: "Isn't she a bit young for that to be happening?"
See also: before, eye, swim

swim for (someone or something)

To attempt to reach someone or something by swimming. The lifeguard swam for the girl, but he couldn't reach her in time. Our boat had started filling with water, so we jumped overboard and swam for shore.
See also: swim

swim for it

1. To attempt to reach something or some place by swimming, especially as a last resort. Our boat had almost completely filled with water before we were able to reach the shore, so we had to swim for it the rest of the way.
2. To attempt to escape (someone or something) by swimming. The prison is on an island, so anyone who tries to escape will have to swim for it in shark-infested waters.
See also: swim

swim into (something)

1. To swim from location or one body of water into another. We squeezed through a crack in the wall of the underwater cave and were able to swim into a tiny moonlight chamber. Don't go too far out—the tide will make it very hard to swim back into shore. Please swim into the shallow end. It makes me nervous when you're in the deeper water like that.
2. To swim in the opposite direction of some force, such as a tide, current, wave, etc. The worst part of the triathlon was the swimming, because we had to swim into the current nearly the whole way. You'll have to swim into the smaller waves with your board to get to the part of the water where the waves are big enough to lift you up onto the surfboard.
See also: swim

swim toward (someone or something)

To move toward someone or something by swimming. We began swimming toward shore when we saw the dark storm clouds gathering on the horizon. That's it, sweetie! Keep kicking you legs and paddling with your arms as you swim toward me.
See also: swim, toward

swim with (someone or something)

1. To swim alongside or in the vicinity of someone or an animal. We had the chance to swim with dolphins while we were in Hawaii. I spent the whole day swimming with my kids at the beach.
2. To swim in the same direction of some force in the water, especially a tide or current. Use longer strokes if you find yourself swimming with the current during the race. We should be swimming with the tide at that hour, so I don't expect it to be too taxing.
3. To go along or agree with the prevailing or popularly held opinion or perspective; to act or behave the same way as the majority of others. Used in the phrase "swim with the tide/current/stream." When I was in college, I used to have a lot of radical opinions and beliefs, but as I've grown older, I find myself swimming with the current more often. I'm sorry, but I simply refuse to swim along with the stream just because it's the easier option!
4. To be murdered and have one's body disposed of in a body of water. Used especially in the gangster cliché "swim with the fishes." Don't worry, boss, that no-good snitch will be swimming with the fishes before sunrise. He'll swim with the fishes if he so much as breathes a word of our operations to anyone.
5. To be involved with cunning, treacherous, or dangerous people. Used in the phrase "swim with sharks." I know you think you're a hustler, but you're swimming with sharks now—you could lose all your money against these guys. Before you start swimming with those sharks, consider this—the last guy who went into business with them wound up dead!
See also: swim

be swimming with (someone or something)

To be filled with, covered in, or overwhelmed by a large number of people or things; to be crawling with someone or something. The whole place is swimming with security, so breaking in is going to be really tough. The business was mired in debt and swimming with bad checks from delinquent clients by the time I eventually took over. I can't remember the last time the mall was swimming with people like this.
See also: swimming

swim against the tide

 and swim against the current 
1. Lit. to swim in a direction opposite to the flow of the water. She became exhausted, swimming against the tide. If you really want strenuous exercise, go out in the stream and swim against the current.
2. Fig. to do something that is in opposition to the general movement of things. Why can't you cooperate? Do you always have to swim against the tide? You always seem to waste your energy swimming against the current.
See also: swim, tide

swim around

to swim here and there. I just like to get into the pool and swim around. I saw only one fish swimming around in your aquarium.
See also: around, swim

swim for it

to escape by swimming. (See also run for it.) I escaped from the guard, dived into the river, and swam for it. Max swam for it, but he didn't get away.
See also: swim

swimming in something

Fig. having lots of something. Right now we are swimming in merchandise. In a month it will be gone. The Wilmington-Thorpes are just swimming in money.
See also: swimming

swimming with someone or something

Fig. engulfed with someone or something. The scene of the crime was swimming with cops and reporters. The hotel was swimming with out-of-town visitors.
See also: swimming

swim against the current

Also, swim against the stream or tide . Go against prevailing opinion or thought, as in I'm voting for him even if that is swimming against the current. Shakespeare used a similar metaphor in 2 Henry IV (5:2): "You must now speak Sir John Falstaff fair, which swims against your stream." For the antonym, see swim with the tide.
See also: current, swim

swim with the tide

Go along with prevailing opinion or thought, as in Irene doesn't have a mind of her own; she just swims with the tide. In the late 1600s this idiom was also put as swim down the stream, a usage not much heard today. The present form was first recorded in 1712. For the antonym, see swim against the current.
See also: swim, tide

swim against the stream

or

go against the stream

If you swim against the stream or go against the stream, you do or say the opposite of what most other people are doing or saying. He was brave enough to be different and swim against the stream. If you live in a different culture, you can feel as if you are going against the stream.
See also: stream, swim

swim against the tide

If you swim against the tide, you do or say the opposite of what most other people are doing or saying. Sinclair seems to be swimming against the tide by not retiring at 60. Thank you for having the courage to swim against the tide and stand up for the qualities that built this great country. Note: You can also say that someone swims with the tide to mean that they act in the same way as most other people. Many great cathedrals are attempting to swim with the tide and bring in tourists to replace the worshippers who no longer come.
See also: swim, tide

swimming in something

in. having lots of something. Right now we are swimming in merchandise. In a month it will be gone.
See also: something, swimming

swim against the stream

To move counter to a prevailing trend.
See also: stream, swim
References in periodicals archive ?
"We received fantastic feedback from our Oceans of Fun event last month, which was a memorable experience for the children that took part and helped to introduce them to different types of swimming.
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He said swimming is also a valuable exercise for elderly people, who might not be as flexible without the buoyancy of water.
WEDNESDAY: - Swimming, athletics and sitting volleyball (Channel 4, 9.15am-12noon); athletics and table tennis (Channel 4, 12.05pm-1pm); wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, athletics and sitting volleyball (Channel 4, 1pm-4.20pm); wheelchair basketball, 7-a-side football, wheelchair tennis and sitting volleyball (More4, 4.20pm-5.25pm); swimming finals (Channel 4, 5.25pm-6.30pm); athletics and swimming (More4, 6.25pm-7.30pm); swimming and athletics (Channel 4, 7.30pm-10.30pm).
Swimming in winter is something most people have to build up to - it can take a couple of years of open water swimming to be able to swim all year around.
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The report also reveals that without school swimming lessons, many more children would not learn the skill.
Swimming is considered good physical therapy for those with back problems.
The Aspire Channel Swim invited people to swim the length of the English Channel over a 12-week period, between September and December 2010 in the comfort of their local swimming pool.
A swimming teacher needs to have good verbal communication skills, the ability to inspire confidence and motivate performers and analytical skills.
Small children are being given training in swimming on the banks of Ganga instead of an artificial swimming pool.
2 : to cross by swimming <He swam the river.>
The History of Swimming. * Kim Powers * Carroll and Graf* $24.95