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

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


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.

1540–50; origin uncertain

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To swarmed
World English Dictionary
swarm1 (swɔːm)
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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

"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.

"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
Cite This Source
Example sentences
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
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.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature