A swivel is a device that allows something to turn freely. Desk chairs are often designed so the seat can swivel atop the base. In the hospital, the TV is usually mounted on a swivel so that patients can adjust it.

Swivel comes from a middle English word, swive, meaning to sweep. It’s often used to describe gun mountings, like on a tank or a boat where a gun is fastened down but can still be swung around in any direction. But people can also swivel. If you were in the middle of robbing a bank and you heard a noise behind you, you’d probably swivel around quickly to see what it was.

Definitions of swivel
  1. verb
    turn on a pivot
    synonyms: pivot
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    do a pirouette, usually as part of a dance
    type of:
    change orientation or direction, also in the abstract sense
  2. noun
    a coupling (as in a chain) that has one end that turns on a headed pin
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    type of:
    coupler, coupling
    a mechanical device that serves to connect the ends of adjacent objects
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