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[swoth, sweyth] /swɒð, sweɪð/
verb (used with object), swathed, swathing.
to wrap, bind, or swaddle with bands of some material; wrap up closely or fully.
to bandage.
to enfold or envelop, as wrappings do.
to wrap (cloth, rope, etc.) around something.
a band of linen or the like in which something is wrapped; wrapping; bandage.
Origin of swathe1
late Old English
before 1050; (noun) Middle English; Old English *swæth or *swath (in swathum dative plural); cf. swaddle; (v.) Middle English swathen, late Old English swathian, derivative of the noun; cognate with Old Norse svatha


[swoth, sweyth] /swɒð, sweɪð/
1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for swathe
Historical Examples
  • The new born feeble being is not there swaddled and filletted up in a swathe, the source of a thousand diseases.

  • swathe the body in the thickest of non-conductors of heat, and what happens?

    The Silent Bullet Arthur B. Reeve
  • Gastric juices leap out from the walls and swathe it in loving embrace.

  • "He said it made the swathe better there than any where else," they reply.

  • swathe after swathe fell to the ground in a straight line behind them, and the binders bound them in bands of twisted straw.

    The Iliad Homer
  • Like Tristan, they hate the day as the destroyer of poetry, and swathe themselves in the trembling chiaroscuro of twilight.

    mile Verhaeren Stefan Zweig
  • They swathe their heads in old lace which declines to drape gracefully about their cheeks.

    Ursula Honore de Balzac
  • In Yaroslavl there was such a downpour that I had to swathe myself in my leather chiton.

    Letters of Anton Chekhov Anton Chekhov
  • In the mental asylum that the swathe of socialist countries was, even language was pathologised.

    After the Rain Sam Vaknin
  • As the distension of the belly had been very great, a swathe was applied, and drawn gradually tighter as the water was evacuated.

British Dictionary definitions for swathe


verb (transitive)
to bandage (a wound, limb, etc), esp completely
to wrap a band, garment, etc, around, esp so as to cover completely; swaddle
to envelop
a bandage or wrapping
a variant spelling of swath
Derived Forms
swathable, swatheable, adjective
Word Origin
Old English swathian; related to swæthel swaddling clothes, Old High German swedil, Dutch zwadel; see swaddle
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 swathe

Old English swaþian "to swathe," from swaðu "track, trace, band" (see swath). The noun meaning "infant's swaddling bands" was found in Old English as swaþum (dative plural).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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