swarm

1 [swawrm]
noun
1.
a body of honeybees that emigrate from a hive and fly off together, accompanied by a queen, to start a new colony.
2.
a body of bees settled together, as in a hive.
3.
a great number of things or persons, especially in motion.
4.
Biology. a group or aggregation of free-floating or free-swimming cells or organisms.
5.
Geology. a cluster of earthquakes or other geologic phenomena or features.
verb (used without object)
6.
to fly off together in a swarm, as bees.
7.
to move about, along, forth, etc., in great numbers, as things or persons.
8.
to congregate, hover, or occur in groups or multitudes; be exceedingly numerous, as in a place or area.
9.
(of a place) to be thronged or overrun; abound or teem: The beach swarms with children on summer weekends.
10.
Biology. to move or swim about in a swarm.
verb (used with object)
11.
to swarm about, over, or in; throng; overrun.
12.
to produce a swarm of.

Origin:
before 900; (noun) Middle English; Old English swearm; cognate with German Schwarm swarm, Old Norse svarmr tumult; (v.) Middle English swarmen, derivative of the noun

swarmer, noun


3. horde, host, mass. See crowd1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged

swarm

2 [swawrm]
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
to climb by clasping with the legs and hands or arms and drawing oneself up; shin.

Origin:
1540–50; origin uncertain

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
swarm1 (swɔːm)
 
n
1.  a group of social insects, esp bees led by a queen, that has left the parent hive in order to start a new colony
2.  a large mass of small animals, esp insects
3.  a throng or mass, esp when moving or in turmoil
 
vb (when intr, often foll by with)
4.  (intr) (of small animals, esp bees) to move in or form a swarm
5.  (intr) to congregate, move about or proceed in large numbers
6.  to overrun or be overrun (with): the house swarmed with rats
7.  (tr) to cause to swarm
 
[Old English swearm; related to Old Norse svarmr uproar, Old High German swaram swarm]

swarm2 (swɔːm)
 
vb (when intr, usually foll by up)
to climb (a ladder, etc) by gripping with the hands and feet: the boys swarmed up the rigging
 
[C16: of unknown origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

swarm
"cloud of bees or other insects," O.E. swearm, from P.Gmc. *swarmaz (cf. O.S., M.L.G. swarm, Swed. svärm, M.Du. swerm, O.H.G. swarm, Ger. Schwarm "swarm;" O.N. svarmr "tumult"), usually derived from PIE imitative base *swer- (see susurration) on notion of humming
sound. But OED suggests possible connection with base of swerve and ground sense of "agitated, confused, or deflected motion." The verb meaning "to leave a hive to start another" is first recorded c.1380, from the noun.

swarm
"to climb by clasping with the arms and legs alternately," 1550, perhaps originally a sailors' word, of uncertain origin. Also recorded as swarve (16c.) and in Northern dialects swarble, swarmle.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
For a crystal to turn to liquid, it seems that a type of swarm intelligence
  causes atoms to move all at once and in sync.
They are a swarm of quick-moving and plotting groups who win by disruption.
The blue orchards rarely sting and, because of their solitary nature, do not
  swarm.
Mosquitoes swarm at night, and nobody has come to spray with insecticide.
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