- to take into the stomach by drawing through the throat and esophagus with a voluntary muscular action, as food, drink, or other substances.
- to take in so as to envelop; withdraw from sight; assimilate or absorb: He was swallowed by the crowd.
- to accept without question or suspicion.
- to accept without opposition; put up with: to swallow an insult.
- to accept for lack of an alternative: Consumers will have to swallow new price hikes.
- to suppress (emotion, a laugh, a sob, etc.) as if by drawing it down one's throat.
- to take back; retract: to swallow one's words.
- to enunciate poorly; mutter: He swallowed his words.
- to perform the act of swallowing.
Origin of swallow1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Origin of swallow2
Examples from the Web for swallow
For Randy, a 50-year-old ex-Mormon gay man, this cure was a particularly bitter pill to swallow.Your Husband Is Definitely Gay: TLC’s Painful Portrait of Mormonism
January 1, 2015
For the Times, which had won four Pulitzer Prizes in 2013, the Snowden slip-up was a bitter pill to swallow.Is The Guardian Holding Back The New York Times’ Snowden Stories?
October 14, 2014
Even more difficult to swallow: Perry likes to put his name in front of a lot of his projects.Gone Girl’s Biggest Twist Is the Superb Tyler Perry
October 6, 2014
It's a hard pill to swallow not because the show isn't good.The Biggest Emmys Snubs and Surprises: 'Modern Family,' McConaughey, and More
August 26, 2014
Jordan is in an even more delicate position, and a country that ISIS would dearly like to swallow.How a Real Air War Could Demolish ISIS
August 23, 2014
Andrew paused in the shallows to allow Sally one swallow; then he went on.Way of the Lawless
And the amount of stories Mark, with all his contemplativeness could swallow, was amazing.Weighed and Wanting
Again, Garson was forced to wet his lips with a dry tongue, and to swallow painfully.Within the Law
He was just in time to swallow a hurried meal and set off to the theatre with the Creams.The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
And yet you have only skimmed the beautiful river's surface as a swallow skims a lake.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
- to pass (food, drink, etc) through the mouth to the stomach by means of the muscular action of the oesophagus
- (often foll by up) to engulf or destroy as if by ingestionNazi Germany swallowed up several small countries
- informal to believe gulliblyhe will never swallow such an excuse
- to refrain from uttering or manifestingto swallow one's disappointment
- to endure without retaliation
- to enunciate (words, etc) indistinctly; mutter
- (often foll by down) to eat or drink reluctantly
- (intr) to perform or simulate the act of swallowing, as in gulping
- swallow one's words to retract a statement, argument, etc, often in humiliating circumstances
- any passerine songbird of the family Hirundinidae, esp Hirundo rustica (common or barn swallow), having long pointed wings, a forked tail, short legs, and a rapid flightRelated adjective: hirundine
- See fairy swallow
Word Origin and History for swallow
"take in through the throat," Old English swelgan (class III strong verb; past tense swealg, past participle swolgen), from Proto-Germanic *swelkh-/*swelg- (cf. Old Saxon farswelgan, Old Norse svelgja "to swallow," Middle Dutch swelghen, Dutch zwelgen "to gulp, swallow," Old High German swelahan "to swallow," German schwelgen "to revel"), probably from PIE base *swel- (1) "to eat, drink." Cognate with Old Norse svelgr "whirlpool," literally "devourer, swallower." Sense of "consume, destroy" is attested from mid-14c. Meaning "to accept without question" is from 1590s. Related: Swallowed; swallowing. The noun meaning "an act of swallowing" is recorded from 1822.
migratory bird (family Hirundinidae), Old English swealwe, from Proto-Germanic *swalwon (cf. Old Saxon, Old Norse, Old Frisian, Swedish svala, Danish svale, Middle Dutch zwalewe, Dutch zwaluw, Old High German swalawa, German Schwalbe), from PIE *swol-wi- (cf. Russian solowej, Slovak slavik, Polish słowik "nightinggale"). The etymological sense is disputed. Popularly regarded as a harbinger of summer; swallows building nests on or near a house is considered good luck.
- To pass something, as food or drink, through the mouth and throat into the stomach.