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[swawrd] /swɔrd/
the grassy surface of land; turf.
a stretch of turf; a growth of grass.
verb (used with object)
to cover with sward or turf.
verb (used without object)
to become covered with sward.
Origin of sward
before 900; Middle English (noun); Old English sweard skin, rind; cognate with German Schwarte rind, Old Frisian swarde scalp, Middle Dutch swaerde skin
Related forms
undersward, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sward
Historical Examples
  • His horse's hoofs had made no sound upon the sward and heather, and he had come upon the little group unawares.

    Mohawks, Volume 1 of 3 Mary Elizabeth Braddon
  • Quickly the earth was shovelled in, and soon two mounds showed on the sward.

  • Mitaine stretched herself on the sward, sleeping with one eye and waking with the other.

    The Days of Chivalry Ernest Louis Victor Jules L'Epine
  • It is but a strip of sward, but it is as wild as if in the midst of a forest.

    The Toilers of the Field Richard Jefferies
  • Probably the trees would grow again were it not for sheep and horses, but these preserve the sward.

    The Open Air Richard Jefferies
  • The hills, though of great declivity, have a sward to their tops.

  • There were only the trees to be seen, and through them small green vistas of sward.

  • The green of the sward had that pale look it puts on with the last rays, or with the dawning.

    In Kings' Byways Stanley J. Weyman
  • It extended to the point of the island and, like the sward in front of the house, was studded with ruins and covered with ivy.

    The Secret of Sarek Maurice Leblanc
  • His footstep, as it stole to me, had fallen on the sward without sound.

    A Strange Story, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
British Dictionary definitions for sward


turf or grass or a stretch of turf or grass
to cover or become covered with grass
Word Origin
Old English sweard skin; related to Old Frisian swarde scalp, Middle High German swart hide
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 sward

"grass-covered ground," Old English sweard "skin, rind" (of bacon, etc.), from Proto-Germanic *swarthu- (cf. Old Frisian swarde "skin of the head," Middle Dutch swarde "rind of bacon," German Schwarte "thick, hard skin, rind," Old Norse svörðr "walrus hide"). Meaning "sod, turf" developed c.1300, on notion of the "skin" of the earth (cf. Old Norse grassvörðr, Danish grønsvær "greensward").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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