The word swap means you give something in exchange for something else. In the medieval ages, a farmer would swap — or exchange — his cow for his neighbor's horse.

First used in the 1590s to mean "exchange, barter, trade," as a noun swap can mean an equal exchange. You might do a clothes swap with one of your friends in the hopes of perking up your wardrobe. As a verb swap describes the act of exchanging something for something else. You might swap oil for applesauce when baking brownies to make this treat healthier. In computer science swap means you move a piece of a computer program into memory.

Definitions of swap

v exchange or give (something) in exchange for

switch, swop, trade
Type of:
change, exchange, interchange
give to, and receive from, one another

v move (a piece of a program) into memory, in computer science

move data into and out of core rather than performing useful computation
Type of:
go, locomote, move, travel
change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically

n an equal exchange

barter, swop, trade
horse trade, horse trading
the swapping of horses (accompanied by much bargaining)
Type of:
exchange, interchange
reciprocal transfer of equivalent sums of money (especially the currencies of different countries)

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