Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
be swinging the lead
To be feigning illness to avoid work. Primarily heard in UK. Gerald's boss thought that he was swinging the lead, so she felt awful when she saw that Gerald was actually in hospital.
come out fighting
To compete or defend someone or something passionately or aggressively. After hearing so much opposition to his proposed construction project, the developer came out fighting at the town hall meeting. They may be underdogs in this series, but you can be sure that they'll come out fighting.
come out swinging
To compete or defend someone or something passionately or aggressively. After hearing so much opposition to his proposed construction project, the developer came out swinging at the town hall meeting. They may be underdogs in this series, but you can be sure that they'll come out swinging.
1. informal To make (something) happen or come to pass; to manage or arrange (something) successfully. Tom says he can swing this deal with the bank, but I'm not so sure. Let's meet with them and see if we can swing an agreement.
2. informal To cause (something) to have a positive or successful outcome. Many predict that the financial crisis could swing the election in favor of the young senator seeking to oust the incumbent president. That incredible touchdown in the third quarter really swung the game for them.
3. slang To die by hanging. You're a monster. I'm going to make sure you swing for what you've done.
4. slang To be especially lively, active, or energetic. This city really swings at night. Wow, this party is swinging now!
5. slang To swap sexual partners consensually in a group, especially when in a committed or married relationship. The couple next door have been dropping hints that they want us to swing with them. We've been swinging for years, and if anything, it has made our marriage even stronger.
6. slang To have a particular sexual orientation. A: "I was wondering if you wanted to go on a date with me some time." B: "I'm sorry, I don't want to hurt your feelings, but I just don't swing that way."
1. To spin or turn rapidly around in the opposite direction. I swung around when I though I heard my name. The police car swung around and turned on its siren to begin pursuing the van that ran the red light.
2. To cause someone or something to spin or turn rapidly around in the opposite direction. A noun or pronoun can be used between "swing" and "around." She had to swing the motorboat around and started heading back to shore. I had to swing the toddler around to keep him from walking down the steps.
3. To visit some place for a brief period of time or for a particular purpose. I need to swing around the office to pick up some paperwork. Why don't you swing around on Saturday for dinner?
swing at (someone or something)
To attempt to hit someone or something with one's fist or an instrument in a broad, sweeping stroke. Bill didn't hear me coming up behind him, and he swung at me when I touched his shoulder. He grabbed the tennis racket and ran around the yard swinging at the bee.
swing both ways
To be sexually attracted to both men and women. No, he doesn't just like guys, he swings both ways.
To visit someone or some place casually and/or briefly. Just swing by when you get a chance—I'll be here all day. I need to swing by the grocery store on my way home.
swing for (someone or something)
1. To attempt to strike someone or something, as with a punch or a handheld weapon. The guy swung for me when I tried to calm him down. She grabbed the bat and started swinging for the piñata.
2. To be executed by hanging for some crime one has committed. Under the brutal dictatorship, you could swing for even whispering dissatisfaction with the government. A: "Yes, I confess, it was I who murdered her!" B: "You'll swing for this, Ericson."
swing for the bleachers
1. In baseball, to put all of one's power into one's swing while batting so as to hit a home run. A less common variant of "swing for the fences." All they need is two more runs to win the game, so you can bet their star batter will come out swinging for the fences. I picked up the bat, imagined myself in Wrigley Field, and got ready to swing for the bleachers.
2. By extension, to put forward one's maximum amount of effort or energy (into or toward something); to act or perform with great intensity or effort. I wasn't sure about their state-appointed lawyer at first, but I was impressed when he came out swinging for the bleachers on day one of the trial. After years of middling sales, it's clear that the company is finally swinging for the bleachers with its aggressive new marketing push.
swing for the fences
1. baseball Literally, to put all one's power into one's swing while batting so as to try to hit a home run. All they need is two more runs to win the game, so you can bet their star batter will come out swinging for the fences.
2. By extension, to put forward one's maximum amount of effort or energy (into or toward something); to act or perform with great intensity or effort. I wasn't sure about their state-appointed lawyer at first, but I was well impressed when he came out swinging for the fences on day one of the trial.
swing from (something)
1. To move to and fro while suspended from something above. The cable came loose and began swinging from the top of the tower. The kite became tangled in a tree and swung from one of its branches.
2. To move to and fro while hanging onto something that is suspended from above. We took turns swinging from the rope. The meat swung from a hook in the walk-in cooler.
3. To hang onto something and move forward in a broad, sweeping arc or curve in order to propel oneself in a leap. He swung from the horizontal flagpole up onto the rooftop. The monkeys are able to cover great distances swinging from the vines above the jungle floor.
swing into (something)
To begin or enter into some state or action with great speed, enthusiasm, or intensity. The city has begun swinging into full-scale preparations for the 200th anniversary parade. We should be ready to swing into production next month.
swing into action
To begin some activity with great enthusiasm, intensity, and speed. The boss swung into action as soon as he learned there was a dispute between the two departments. I'm going to meet with my group on Saturday so we can swing into action on this project.
swing into full gear
To begin doing something at a higher speed, intensity, or level of enthusiasm. The city is swinging into full gear in its preparations for the anniversary parade. I'm going to meet with my team on Saturday so we can swing into full gear on this project.
swing into gear
To begin doing something at a higher speed, intensity, or level of enthusiasm. The city is swinging into gear in its preparations for the anniversary parade. I'm going to meet with my team on Saturday so we can swing into gear on this project.
swing into high gear
To begin doing something at a higher speed, intensity, or level of enthusiasm. The city is swinging into high gear in its preparations for the anniversary parade. I'm going to meet with my team on Saturday so we can swing into high gear on this project.
swing the balance
To be the factor or provide the element that makes something happen or leads to success. We're hoping that the addition of new outdoor seating helps to swing the balance for the restaurant. A lot of the entries were very similar, so I'm hoping that the uniqueness of mine swings the balance in my favor.
swing the lead
To feign illness to avoid work. Gerald's boss accused him of swinging the lead, but felt awful when he saw that Gerald was very sick.
swing to (someone or something)
1. To propel (oneself) in the direction of something by hanging onto something suspended from above and moving in a broad, sweeping arc or curve. You've got to grab the rope and swing to the other side of the ravine. The burglar held onto the flagpole and swung to the ledge of the open window.
2. To turn or pivot in some direction on or as on a hinge. The refrigerator door swings to the right when you open it.
3. To cause someone to move to some point or in some direction with a swooping or sweeping motion. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "swing" and "to." He swung his dance partner to the side. Let's swing this thing to the other side of the room. The bouncer swung the rowdy man to the ground.
4. To shift or vacillate to some different opinion, belief, ideology, emotion, etc. Public opinion has continued to swing in favor of previously socially unacceptable behaviors and lifestyles. The whole world has swung to online banking, Dad. You really need to get with the times if you want to keep up.
5. To cause someone or some group shift or vacillate to some different opinion, belief, ideology, emotion, etc. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "swing" and "to." You're not going to swing anyone to your side with such inflammatory arguments. Age tends to swing people to more conservative mindsets.
6. To convince or persuade someone or some group to something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "swing" and "to." The incident swung the entire population to side of the rebel leaders. She managed to swing the board to fund her side project for the next five years.
swing with (someone or something)
1. To understand, agree with, or support someone or something. OK, I can swing with most of the rules you've laid out, but some of them are just silly. A: "I was thinking we could paint this room green." B: "Yeah, I can swing with that!"
2. To be able to compete or contend with someone or something. Don't worry, I think I'll be able to swing with some dusty old professor in a debate. They may be a small company, but they've proved they can swing with the biggest and best in the industry.
3. slang To engage in sex with someone outside of one's marriage or committed relationship. We've been swinging with couples from all over town for the past 10 years, and it has only ever made our own marriage stronger. He said that he and his wife wanted to swing with me, but I told them I wasn't into that sort of thing.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
swing around (to something)
to move one's body or view around to another position. She swung around to the left, where she could see better. The bear suddenly swung around and charged.
swing into high gear
to begin operating at a fast pace; to increase the rate of activity. During the winter season we swing into high gear around here. The chef swings into high gear around six o'clock in preparation for the theater crowd.
Fig. to make something happen. I hope I can swing a deal that will make us all a lot of money. We all hope you can swing it.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
swing into action
Energetically start doing something, as in Come on, let's swing into action before the others arrive. This idiom uses swing in the sense of "move vigorously."
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
come out fightingmainly BRITISH or
come out swingingmainly AMERICAN
COMMON In a conflict or contest, if someone comes out fighting or comes out swinging, they show by their behaviour that they are prepared to do everything they can in order to win. Thompson came out fighting last night, accusing his old board colleagues of deliberately damaging his reputation. Deputy Prime Minister John Waters came out swinging against front-runner Martin Jackson in the weekend leadership debate. Note: If boxers come out fighting, they leave their corner as soon as the bell rings and attack their opponent immediately.
be swinging the leadBRITISH
If someone is swinging the lead, they are pretending to be ill to avoid working. Note: Lead is a very heavy metal. It is a question of getting the right benefits to the right people, and we want to stop anyone swinging the lead. Note: In the past, when a ship was in shallow water, one of the sailors would drop a piece of lead on a string, called a plumbline, over the side of the ship to find out how deep the water was. Sometimes sailors would just swing the plumbline, because they were too lazy to do the work properly. `Plumb the depths' is also based on this practice.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
swing both waysbe bisexual. informal
2001 Film Inside Out Florence has baggage. At one moment, there is a hint that she might swing both ways, or, maybe, only one since the guy thing is a fake.
swing the leadmalinger; shirk your duty. British informal
This phrase originated in the armed forces and the lead in question is probably a sounding lead, a lump of lead attached to a line and slowly lowered to determine the depth of a stretch of water. The connection between this process and shirking one's duty is not entirely clear.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
swing both ˈways(informal) be bisexual (= sexually attracted to both men and women)
ˌswing into ˈactionstart to act efficiently and quickly: When the police heard about the bomb, they swung into action, searching the area with dogs and moving the public to safety.
ˌswing the ˈlead(old-fashioned, British English, informal) (usually used in the progressive tenses) pretend to be ill/sick when you are not, especially to avoid work: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with her — she’s just swinging the lead.The lead (pronounced /led/ ) may refer to a weight at the bottom of a line that sailors used to measure how deep the water was. Swinging the lead was possibly considered an easy job, and so came to mean avoiding hard work.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
1. To turn rapidly around something: The car swung around the corner and almost hit a pedestrian.
2. To turn rapidly to face the opposite direction: When I heard footsteps behind me, I swung around.
To visit some place for a brief amount of time, especially as a deviation from a direct course: On my way home, I swung by the post office to buy some stamps. We swung by a friend's house on our way to the beach. Why don't you swing by for some coffee?
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. in. [for a person] to be up to date and modern. Tom really swings. Look at those blue suede shoes!
2. in. [for a party or other event] to be fun or exciting. I’ve never been to a gathering that swings like this one.
3. in. to be involved in sexual fads, group sex, or the swapping of sexual partners. Carol says that Tom, Ted, and Heidi swing. How does she know?
4. tv. to bring something off; to execute a deal. They want to elect me president of the club. I hope they can swing it.
swing both ways
in. to be bisexual. Since he swings both ways, he may stand a better chance at finding a date.
swing into high gear
in. to begin operating at a fast pace; to increase the rate of activity. The chef swings into high gear around eight o’clock in preparation for the theater crowd.
mod. great. The concert was swinging—nothing like it, ever.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.