v. swilled, swill·ing, swills
a. To drink greedily or grossly: "Unshaven horsemen swill the great wines of the Chateaux" (W.H. Auden).
b. To follow the ingestion of (food, for example) with the ingestion of a liquid: swilled down the pretzels with soda.
a. To flood with water, as for washing or rinsing: swilled out the glass.
b. To swirl (a liquid) around in a container or in one's mouth: swilled the wine in the glass before sniffing.
3. To feed (animals) with swill.
To drink greedily or to excess.
1. A mixture of liquid and solid food, such as table scraps, fed to animals, especially pigs; slop.
2. Liquor or other alcohol of poor quality: I won't drink this swill.
3. A swig or gulp of a drink.
[Middle English swilen, to wash out, from Old English swilian; see swel- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.