1. To affirm or utter a solemn declaration, with an appeal to god for the truth of what is affirmed; to make a promise, threat, or resolve on oath; also, to affirm solemnly by some sacred object, or one regarded as sacred, as the bible, the Koran, etc. Ye shall swear by my name falsely. (Lev. Xix. 12) I swear by all the roman gods. (Shak)
2. To give evidence on oath; as, to swear to the truth of a statement; he swore against the prisoner.
3. To make an appeal to god in an irreverant manner; to use the name of God or sacred things profanely; to call upon God in imprecation; to curse. [I] swore little; diced not above seven times a week. (Shak) To swear by, to place great confidence in a person or thing; to trust implicitly as an authority. I simply meant to ask if you are one of those who swear by lord Verulam. . To swear off, to make a solemn vow, or a serious resolution, to abstain from something; as, to swear off smoking.
Origin: OE. Swerien, AS. Swerian; akin to D. Zweren, OS. Swerian, OHG. Swerien, G. Schworen, Icel. Sverja, Sw. Svarja, Dan. Svaerge, Icel. & Sw. Svara to answer, Dan. Svare, Dan. & Sw. Svar an answer, Goth. Swaran to swear, and perhaps to E. Swarm. 177. Cf. Answer.