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swarm1

[swawrm] /swɔrm/
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
900
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
Related forms
swarmer, noun
Synonyms
3. horde, host, mass. See crowd1 .

swarm2

[swawrm] /swɔrm/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
1.
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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Examples from the web for swarmed
  • Thousands of people swarmed around tables stacked with secondhand books.
  • Flip it to green and your table is swarmed with various cuts of meat for the taking.
  • After our bees swarmed a month ago, there has been less and less activity in the hive.
  • She's the hive that enchanted us when she swarmed three times this spring, and delighted us this summer with her fragrant honey.
  • As chaos raged in the aftermath of regime change, looters swarmed in.
  • Grateful youngsters and their families swarmed all over it.
  • Areas that swarmed with species hundreds of years ago may have suffered a low-grade and slow decline.
  • Creatures who haplessly stumble upon a wasp colony or have the audacity to disturb a nest will find themselves quickly swarmed.
  • The oceans swarmed with huge sharks and voracious marine reptiles.
  • During their tests, honeybees swarmed areas where explosive residue was present.
British Dictionary definitions for swarmed

swarm1

/swɔːm/
noun
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
verb
4.
(intransitive) (of small animals, esp bees) to move in or form a swarm
5.
(intransitive) to congregate, move about or proceed in large numbers
6.
when intr, often foll by with. to overrun or be overrun (with): the house swarmed with rats
7.
(transitive) to cause to swarm
Word Origin
Old English swearm; related to Old Norse svarmr uproar, Old High German swaram swarm

swarm2

/swɔːm/
verb
1.
when intr, usually foll by up. to climb (a ladder, etc) by gripping with the hands and feet: the boys swarmed up the rigging
Word Origin
C16: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for swarmed

swarm

n.

"cloud of bees or other insects," Old English swearm, from Proto-Germanic *swarmaz (cf. Old Saxon, Middle Low German swarm, Swedish svärm, Middle Dutch swerm, Old High German swarm, German Schwarm "swarm;" Old Norse svarmr "tumult"), usually derived from PIE imitative root *swer- (2) "to buzz, whisper" (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."

v.

"to climb by clasping with the arms and legs alternately," 1540s, perhaps originally a sailors' word, of uncertain origin. Also recorded as swarve (16c.) and in Northern dialects swarble, swarmle.

"to leave a hive to start another," late 14c., from swarm (n.). Related: Swarmed; swarming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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