Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[swoth, sweyth] /swɒð, sweɪð/
verb (used with object), swathed, swathing.
to wrap, bind, or swaddle with bands of some material; wrap up closely or fully.
to bandage.
to enfold or envelop, as wrappings do.
to wrap (cloth, rope, etc.) around something.
a band of linen or the like in which something is wrapped; wrapping; bandage.
Origin of swathe1
late Old English
before 1050; (noun) Middle English; Old English *swæth or *swath (in swathum dative plural); cf. swaddle; (v.) Middle English swathen, late Old English swathian, derivative of the noun; cognate with Old Norse svatha


[swoth, sweyth] /swɒð, sweɪð/
1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for swathes
Historical Examples
  • Death, issuing from that great power of artillery, laid the soldiers in swathes.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • A Maxim they had with them also swept horses and men away in swathes.

    The Invasion

    William Le Queux
  • When they met again, he had his head bound up with swathes of linen.

    Swirling Waters Max Rittenberg
  • Lavishing her silky spray, she swathes them and then sucks the body at her ease.

    The Life of the Spider J. Henri Fabre
  • It swathes those impossible masses in draperies soothingly uncertain of outline.

    In Defense of Women H. L. Mencken
  • He watched the departing army—paddlers sitting on swathes of filched spears.

    Bones Edgar Wallace
  • On we go across the austere plain, between fields of madder, the red roots of the 'garance' lying in swathes along the furrows.

  • It was pleasant to be involved in the bustle about the precious thing they were unwrapping from swathes of tissue paper.

    Married Life

    May Edginton
  • Those who have been hit are already lying mown down in swathes behind us and are writhing on their wounds.

    The Human Slaughter-House Wilhelm Lamszus
  • Feathers are smoothed down, as a field of corn by wind with rain; only the swathes laid in beautiful order.

    Love's Meinie John Ruskin
British Dictionary definitions for swathes


verb (transitive)
to bandage (a wound, limb, etc), esp completely
to wrap a band, garment, etc, around, esp so as to cover completely; swaddle
to envelop
a bandage or wrapping
a variant spelling of swath
Derived Forms
swathable, swatheable, adjective
Word Origin
Old English swathian; related to swæthel swaddling clothes, Old High German swedil, Dutch zwadel; see swaddle
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 swathes



Old English swaþian "to swathe," from swaðu "track, trace, band" (see swath). The noun meaning "infant's swaddling bands" was found in Old English as swaþum (dative plural).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for swathes

Word Value for swathes

Scrabble Words With Friends