noun Chiefly Northeastern U.S.
a low place in a tract of land, usually moister and often having ranker vegetation than the adjacent higher land.
a valleylike intersection of two slopes in a piece of land.

1400–50; late Middle English; originally a cool, shady spot, perhaps < Old Norse svalr cool, or svalir a covered porch

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World English Dictionary
swale (sweɪl)
chiefly (US)
 a.  a moist depression in a tract of land, usually with rank vegetation
 b.  (as modifier): swell and swale topography
[C16: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse svala to chill]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

"low, hollow place, often boggy," 1584, special use of Scottish swaill "low, hollow place," or dialectal East Anglian swale "shady place" (c.1440); both probably from O.N. svalr "cool," from P.Gmc. *swalaz.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Swales with undermined swale blocks will be reshaped and the swale blocks
  reconstructed as needed following annual inspections.
The pavement edge along the swale can experience more cracking and structural
  failure, increasing maintenance costs.
Swale sections are particularly appropriate where curbs are used to prevent
  water from eroding fill slopes.
It is unclear how the diversion swale berm and the letdown channel cross the
  perimeter swale at the base on the letdown channel.
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