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
  1. verb
    exchange or give (something) in exchange for
    synonyms: switch, swop, trade
    see moresee less
    type of:
    change, exchange, interchange
    give to, and receive from, one another
  2. verb
    move (a piece of a program) into memory, in computer science
    see moresee less
    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
  3. noun
    an equal exchange
    synonyms: barter, swop, trade
    see moresee less
    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)
Word Family
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