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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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for swathing
Historical Examples
  • Every human being grows up inside a sheath of custom, which enfolds it as the swathing clothes enfold the infant.

  • It had hidden itself in its softest snows of white, swathing mist.

    The White People Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • She had already warmed the clothes, and had poured boiling water in a tub, with hot flannels for swathing.

  • Under the swathing of linen he could see where the hands were folded on the breast.

    Bunker Bean Harry Leon Wilson
  • The swathing of linen—he had unwound it to where the hands should have been folded on the breast—had enclosed excelsior.

    Bunker Bean Harry Leon Wilson
  • The forests and meadows were coming out of the mist of morning, as if out of swathing bands.

    Hania Henryk Sienkiewicz
  • Then, still hopeful, I would face my cabin and soon after swathing myself in the brief sheets of the bunk would be asleep.

    The Bonadventure Edmund Blunden
  • “Ay, surely,” returned the ancient mariner, swathing his head in a haze of tobacco-smoke.

  • She was half-sitting, half-lying on the divan, the swathing draperies of her tunic outlining the wonderful modelling of her limbs.

    The Lamp of Fate Margaret Pedler
  • He made a pretence of swathing me up in fresh rawhide ropes, but his knots were loose and the thing was a farce.

    Prester John John Buchan
British Dictionary definitions for swathing


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 swathing



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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