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[swoch] /swɒtʃ/
a sample of cloth or other material.
a sample, patch, or characteristic specimen of anything.
Origin of swatch
1505-15; akin to switch Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for swatch
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then he took a swatch of black velveteen from his pocket and arranged it over the sample-table with the two gems in its folds.

    Potash & Perlmutter Montague Glass
  • No mail but a swatch of ads drenched in the season's gladness, and the janitor would never provide a wastebasket in the entry.

  • When all is ready the bath is heated up, the swatch put in and the work of the test entered upon.

  • This little bit of swatch, replied I, shewing him a paring of print not larger than two crown pieces.

  • It appeared to Archie that to swatch with the barrel man must be a highly diverting occupation.

  • When all is ready, the bath is heated up, the swatch entered, and the work of the test entered upon.

British Dictionary definitions for swatch


a sample of cloth
a number of such samples, usually fastened together in book form
  1. a small sample of colour supplied to the printer for matching during printing
  2. a sample of ink spread on paper by a printer to check the accuracy of a required colour
Word Origin
C16: Scottish and northern English, of uncertain 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 swatch

1510s, "the countercheck of a tally" (Northumberland dialect), later "a tally attached to cloth sent to be dyed" (1610s, in Yorkshire), of unknown origin. Meaning "a sample piece of cloth" is from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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