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swath

[swoth, swawth] /swɒθ, swɔθ/
noun
1.
the space covered by the stroke of a scythe or the cut of a mowing machine.
2.
the piece or strip so cut.
3.
a line or ridge of grass, grain, or the like, cut and thrown together by a scythe or mowing machine.
4.
a strip, belt, or long and relatively narrow extent of anything.
Idioms
5.
cut a swath, to make a pretentious display; attract notice:
The new doctor cut a swath in the small community.
Also, swathe.
Origin of swath
900
before 900; Middle English; Old English swæth footprint; cognate with German Shwade
Can be confused
swath, swathe.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for swath
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Steel-Blue had cut a swath around him 15 feet deep and five feet wide.

    Acid Bath Vaseleos Garson
  • Now you can understand the width of the swath he cuts in these parts.

  • I devastated a swath of territory fifty miles wide and a hundred miles long.

    At Good Old Siwash George Fitch
  • He is rather excitable and erratic, but he cuts quite a swath here.

    Polly the Pagan Isabel Anderson
  • His scythe is one that don't need any grindstun, and his swath is one that must be cut.

    Sweet Cicely Josiah Allen's Wife: Marietta Holley
British Dictionary definitions for swath

swath

/swɔːθ/
noun (pl) swaths (swɔːðz), swathes
1.
the width of one sweep of a scythe or of the blade of a mowing machine
2.
the strip cut by either of these in one course
3.
the quantity of cut grass, hay, or similar crop left in one course of such mowing
4.
a long narrow strip or belt
Word Origin
Old English swæth; related to Old Norse svath smooth patch
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 swath
n.

Old English swæð, swaðu "track, trace, band," from Proto-Germanic *swathan, *swatho (cf. Old Frisian swethe "boundary made by a scythe," Middle Dutch swade, German Schwad "a row of cut grass"); ulterior connections uncertain. Meaning "space covered by the single cut of a scythe" emerged late 15c., and that of "strip, lengthwise extent" is from c.1600.

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

swath

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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11
10
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