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In general sense of the language we would say that a door "opens" or "closes". But I am looking for a one-word answer(preferably) that would indicate its motion around the hinge. Does it swivel, swerve, flap?(you get the idea)

NOTE: I am not talking about spin doors that revolve or sliding doors, just the conventional ones with hinge(s).

And, please go through the entire question. This is not a duplicate of What does door do? or Is there a word that means both opening and closing a door?

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3  
I was glad to see an O.P. add some extra links to a question, showing that some research time had indeed been invested before asking the question. –  J.R. Nov 27 '12 at 10:37
    
Usually squeaks. –  user21497 Nov 27 '12 at 10:59
    
@BillFranke: A door squeaks open, agreed. But, it never "squeaks" on its hinges! Unless we are talking bout a very rusty hinge ;) –  KeyBrd Basher Nov 27 '12 at 11:06
    
@KeyBrd Basher: Yes, I was thinking of very rusty hinges and doors in tales of murder and mystery. Okay, to be technically correct, I suppose one must say "The door swung squeakily on its hinges", but many writers would find that too long and boring a sentence for the average mystery book reader. That's why they say things like "The door squealed on its hinges" and "every door shrieked on its hinges" [Check those phrases out on Google]. Even the doors in my apartment squeak. –  user21497 Nov 27 '12 at 11:28
    
@BillFranke: I think the word to be used will change with the context( See J.R.'s answer). –  KeyBrd Basher Nov 27 '12 at 11:57
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5 Answers

up vote 40 down vote accepted

The door swings on its hinge.

To move backward and forward, especially rotating about or hanging from a fixed point.

Turns, as suggested by other answerers, sounds like another great possibility. But a quick look at the actual usage stats brings up something interesting.

Here are the top 50 collocations for "the door [v*]" from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) and the British National Corpus (BNC):

     |   COCA             |   BNC
     |                    |
 1   |   OPENED     992   |   WAS        402
 2   |   WAS        943   |   OPENED     327
 3   |   OPEN       830   |   OPEN       175
 4   |   IS         659   |   CLOSED     151
 5   |   OPENS      611   |   SHUT       103
 6   |   SHUT       588   |   IS          73
 7   |   CLOSED     573   |   SWUNG       57
 8   |   SWUNG      249   |   HAD         53
 9   |   CLOSES     164   |   SLAMMED     42
10   |   HAD        158   |   LEADING     21
11   |   SLAMMED    137   |   OPENS       21
12   |   LEADING     98   |   WOULD       20
13   |   SLAMS       92   |   BURST       19
14   |   WOULD       88   |   'S          19
15   |   SLID        80   |   LOCKED      19
16   |   'S          71   |   WILL        18
17   |   LOCKED      66   |   FLEW        17
18   |   FLEW        63   |   WERE        16
19   |   CREAKED     57   |   BEING       13
20   |   CLOSE       56   |   SLID        13
21   |   SWINGS      50   |   HAS         11
22   |   HAS         49   |   BANGED      11
23   |   SHUTS       49   |   CLICKED     11
24   |   CLICKED     46   |   MADE        10
25   |   SLAM        45   |   CLOSE        9
26   |   UNLOCKED    43   |   CRASHED      9
27   |   BURST       40   |   MUST         9
28   |   BANGED      40   |   DID          8
29   |   WEARING     39   |   SAYING       8
30   |   SAID        36   |   CREAKED      7
31   |   CRACKED     34   |   CAN          7
32   |   DID         34   |   LOOKING      7
33   |   WERE        34   |   SHUTS        7
34   |   WILL        34   |   BEGAN        6
35   |   CAME        30   |   CLOSES       6
36   |   ARE         29   |   OPENING      6
37   |   STOOD       28   |   STOOD        6
38   |   LOOKING     25   |   WENT         6
39   |   COULD       23   |   FELL         5
40   |   BEING       22   |   BROKE        5
41   |   DOES        21   |   CAME         5
42   |   GAVE        21   |   HISSED       5
43   |   BURSTS      20   |   MIGHT        5
44   |   CLOSING     20   |   SLAM         5
45   |   CRASHED     20   |   SWINGING     5
46   |   FLIES       20   |   UNLOCKED     5
47   |   REMAINED    19   |   WO           5
48   |   CAN         18   |   CLANGED      4
49   |   HIT         18   |   FACING       4
50   |   COMES       16   |   INTERRUPTED  4

As you can see, out of these swing is the top (and arguably only) verb that fits your bill, while turn is not even on the list.

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2  
Oh, I really like creaks – even if that might be only temporal. –  J.R. Nov 27 '12 at 10:08
    
".....and the door swung open". Seems more like it. Good answer! –  KeyBrd Basher Nov 27 '12 at 11:10
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If turns is too bland for you, you could say that it pivots on the hinge.

Picking the "right" word depends much on your context, too.

"The door swung open" is indeed a very natural way to indicate the movement. However, if you were to, say, describe the appartus of an experiment in a scientific journal, swing might not be the best verb to use; something more "formal" like pivot may work better.

Then again, there's turn, which can be a very apt word in a metaphor, much like Wouk's metaphor quoted in Malvolio's answer to your question. In that context, I think turn works much better than swing or swivel.

Then there's flap, which you offered in your question. I think that would work best if you were describing a loose shutter in a strong wind.

The shutter turned in the wind.
The shutter swung in the wind.
The shutter swiveled in the wind.
The shutter flapped in the wind.

Which do you think sounds best?

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+1 for talking bout 'context' –  KeyBrd Basher Nov 27 '12 at 11:55
    
Yes, the whole debate - er - is predicated on context. It's not a/n - er - clear-cut case. –  Edwin Ashworth Nov 27 '12 at 12:02
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It just turns on its hinge. Sorry.

The story begins with Willie Keith because the event turns on his personality as the massive door of a vault turns on a small jewel bearing. -- The Caine Mutiny Herman Wouk

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1  
Just? If a door can turn on a hinge, it can surely swivel on a hinge, too. –  J.R. Nov 27 '12 at 11:12
    
wouldn't it seem as if "turns" is being used here to exhibit a metaphor......... –  KeyBrd Basher Nov 27 '12 at 11:13
    
@KeyBrdBasher: It seems the metaphor is more with the vault door, not strictly with the verb "turns". Turns is a very viable answer to your question, I think. –  J.R. Nov 27 '12 at 11:17
1  
@KeyBrdBasher: I think we're in agreement, then. I only meant to point out that the metaphorical usage here would not preclude "turn" from being a valid answer to the question "What does a door do on its hinge?" –  J.R. Nov 27 '12 at 11:37
1  
@KeyBrdBasher - to be hyper-technical, it's a simile because it's a direct comparison. –  Malvolio Nov 28 '12 at 23:57
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The door could be said to articulate on the hinge.

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It would be helpful to add a reference to this definition. –  joulesm Nov 28 '12 at 13:47
    
@joulesm articulate is well-defined and fits the bill -- just that it may or may not suit OP's context. –  Kris Nov 28 '12 at 15:33
    
@Kris good point. I only meant that an example of its usage or definition would also be helpful for the OP. –  joulesm Nov 28 '12 at 15:38
    
Can you provide an example, illustrating its usage. –  KeyBrd Basher Dec 3 '12 at 5:05
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The door rests on its hinges.

Well, that's what I would say!

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The question specifically asks about the motion of a door around its hinges. Clearly, the door cannot be resting when it is moving. –  choster Sep 12 '13 at 15:17
    
The door is permanently resting on hinges, if the door is swung open it is moving while on the hinges - but were it not still resting on the hinges, well the door would fall over. –  Peddler Sep 13 '13 at 15:50
1  
We don't use resting to indicate its motion; it simply signifies here the manner in which the door is attached. –  choster Sep 15 '13 at 2:01
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