Part of speech: noun
Origin: Old Norse, 14th century
A young lover or suitor.
A country youth.
Examples of Swain in a sentence
"The eager swain showed up at her door with a bouquet of flowers to ask her to prom."
"He didn’t often leave the farm, but the swain went into town for supplies once a month."
Popularity Over Time
It’s an old-fashioned term for a beau, boyfriend, or suitor. While the term isn’t used much these days, we highly recommend introducing your new boyfriend as your swain — the charming moniker might win over mom and dad.
Did you Know?
In Old Norse, “sveinn” meant boy, or servant. Old English adopted swain to describe the young man attending a knight. It picked up a few more definitions over the years, with swain meaning a country youth, and then a gentleman suitor. The courting version stuck around in romantic literature.