"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[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 swathes
  • The latest studies survey swathes of entire genomes and produce maps of human movements across much of the world.
  • She swathes herself in scarves and shawls and lets her curly hair fall in her eyes and face.
  • Now, the threat has extended to swathes of territory in the north, where security has largely been taken for granted.
  • Large swathes of land are underwater and people are desperately awaiting relief.
  • Such swathes of digital desert are still rare in the blogosphere.
  • Skating breezily across swathes of economic policy, his theme is that new capitalism will be defined by experimentation.
  • The local currency is worthless, so swathes of public services have ceased to function.
  • Large swathes of national production would come to a standstill and exports would be emphatically weakened.
  • Militia leaders and rogue army commanders still control swathes of it.
  • There are few swathes of farmland lying fallow and much of the world's available fresh water is already being used.
British Dictionary definitions for swathes


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 swathes



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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