[swoth, swawth]
the space covered by the stroke of a scythe or the cut of a mowing machine.
the piece or strip so cut.
a line or ridge of grass, grain, or the like, cut and thrown together by a scythe or mowing machine.
a strip, belt, or long and relatively narrow extent of anything.
cut a swath, to make a pretentious display; attract notice: The new doctor cut a swath in the small community.
Also, swathe.

before 900; Middle English; Old English swæth footprint; cognate with German Shwade

swath, swathe.
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World English Dictionary
swath or swathe (swɔːθ, sweɪð)
n , pl swaths, swathes
1.  the width of one sweep of a scythe or of the blade of a mowing machine
2.  the strip cut by either of these in one course
3.  the quantity of cut grass, hay, or similar crop left in one course of such mowing
4.  a long narrow strip or belt
[Old English swæth; related to Old Norse svath smooth patch]
swathe or swathe (swɔːθ, sweɪð, swɔːðz)
[Old English swæth; related to Old Norse svath smooth patch]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. swæð, swaðu "track, trace, band," from P.Gmc. *swathan, *swatho (cf. O.Fris. swethe "boundary made by a scythe," M.Du. swade, Ger. Schwad "a row of cut grass"); ulterior connections uncertain. Meaning "space covered by the single cut of a scythe" emerged late 15c., and that of "strip,
lengthwise extent" is from c.1600.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see cut a wide swath.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
We turn into a swath of deep green as twilight seeps into dark.
In the future, a wide swath of companies will sell power.
Innovations, especially digital ones, leave a swath of devastatingly outdated
  art materials in their wake.
She samples a narrow swath of research and makes inappropriately broad claims
  that satisfy many readers initial biases.
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