Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

swale

[sweyl] /sweɪl/
noun, Chiefly Northeastern U.S.
1.
a low place in a tract of land, usually moister and often having ranker vegetation than the adjacent higher land.
2.
a valleylike intersection of two slopes in a piece of land.
Origin of swale
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English; originally a cool, shady spot, perhaps < Old Norse svalr cool, or svalir a covered porch
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for swale
Historical Examples
  • No breath of air stirred the foliage or the bending rushes in the swale.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • "Oh, it's just that swale to the right of the driveway," said Rufus.

    In Apple-Blossom Time

    Clara Louise Burnham
  • "He may be in the swale," muttered the watcher as he stood with his eye to the loop-hole.

  • There are areas of swale, or wet bottom-lands, which may be drained to advantage.

    A Report on Washington Territory William Henry Ruffner
  • Myton is on the swale, near its junction with the Ure, and so a little east of Boroughbridge.

    The Bruce John Barbour
  • Helen urged her horse after them and they broke across a corner of the swale to the woods.

  • The campoodies are near the watercourses, but never in the swale of the stream.

  • Usually straw, meadow hay, or swale hay is used for bedding.

    Ducks and Geese Harry M. Lamon
  • A group of men were gathered in the swale between the shack and Shanty Town.

    The Plow-Woman Eleanor Gates
  • To Dallas, laying the blue-stem of the swale, the hours of the morning went slowly.

    The Plow-Woman Eleanor Gates
British Dictionary definitions for swale

swale

/sweɪl/
noun
1.
(mainly US)
  1. a moist depression in a tract of land, usually with rank vegetation
  2. (as modifier): swell and swale topography
Word Origin
C16: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse svala to chill
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for swale
n.

"low, hollow place, often boggy," 1580s, special use of Scottish swaill "low, hollow place," or dialectal East Anglian swale "shady place" (mid-15c.); both probably from Old Norse svalr "cool," from Proto-Germanic *swalaz.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for swale

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for swale

8
9
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for swale