9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[swoop] /swup/
verb (used without object)
to sweep through the air, as a bird or a bat, especially down upon prey.
to come down upon something in a sudden, swift attack (often followed by down and on or upon):
The army swooped down on the town.
verb (used with object)
to take, lift, scoop up, or remove with or as with one sweeping motion (often followed by up, away, or off):
He swooped her up in his arms.
an act or instance of swooping; a sudden, swift descent.
at / in one fell swoop, all at once or all together, as if by one blow:
The quake flattened the houses at one fell swoop.
Origin of swoop
1535-45; variant (with close ō) of Middle English swopen, Old English swāpan to sweep1; cognate with German schweifen
4. dive, plunge, sweep, drop. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for swoop
  • First, you head to the greenhouse--and close the door quickly so that hungry bugs don't swoop in.
  • They flap, swoop and descend while calling before diving to the original perch.
  • He dropped in an effortless swoop, circled, then continued his journey south.
  • Others swoop close to their stars and then swing far out on egg-shaped paths, scattering smaller bodies as they go.
  • The walls swoop in tight, then flare out, the rock seeming to flow.
  • Scores of gulls hover above, screeching in excitement, then swoop down to gobble up any leftovers.
  • Thousands of gulls swoop over the island, their cries combining into a near-deafening cackle.
  • The shells swoop down among the battery horses standing there apart.
  • It is rare to swoop in from outside and take a job from a local, unless you are well connected or truly up and coming.
  • They need to pay the consequences, not have mommy swoop in to rescue them and make excuses for them.
British Dictionary definitions for swoop


(intransitive; usually foll by down, on, or upon) to sweep or pounce suddenly
(transitive; often foll by up, away, or off) to seize or scoop suddenly
the act of swooping
a swift descent
Word Origin
Old English swāpan to sweep; related to Old High German sweifan to swing around, Old Norse sveipa to throw
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 swoop

1560s, "to move or walk in a stately manner," apparently from a dialectal survival of Old English swapan "to sweep, brandish, dash," from Proto-Germanic *swaipanan, from PIE root *swei- "to swing, bend, to turn." Meaning "pounce upon with a sweeping movement" first recorded 1630s. Spelling with -oo- may have been influenced by Scottish and northern England dialectal soop "to sweep," from Old Norse sopa "to sweep." Related: Swooped; swooping.


1540s, from swoop (v.). Phrase one fell swoop is from Shakespeare.

Oh, Hell-Kite! All? What, All my pretty Chickens, and their Damme, At one fell swoope? ["Macbeth," IV.iii.219]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with swoop


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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