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[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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for swathing
Historical Examples
  • The covering was not so much a robe as a swathing, and we had time to discuss it briefly.

    The Shadow World

    Hamlin Garland
  • A swathing of bandages covered the abdomen, and the mouth was wrapped in cloth.

    A. D. 2000 Alvarado M. Fuller
  • It had hidden itself in its softest snows of white, swathing mist.

    The White People Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • The custom of swathing babies with bandages is very ancient.

  • Under the swathing of linen he could see where the hands were folded on the breast.

    Bunker Bean

    Harry Leon Wilson
  • Joshua came up quite feebly, swathing his black face with his red handkerchief and bowed humbly to his former mistress.

    The Broken Sword Dennison Worthington
  • “Ay, surely,” returned the ancient mariner, swathing his head in a haze of tobacco-smoke.

  • He made a pretence of swathing me up in fresh rawhide ropes, but his knots were loose and the thing was a farce.

    Prester John John Buchan
  • The forests and meadows were coming out of the mist of morning, as if out of swathing bands.

    Hania Henryk Sienkiewicz
  • Judith saw girls with light-coloured gowns showing under dark coats, and swathing veils that preserved elaborate coiffures.

    The Wishing Moon

    Louise Elizabeth Dutton
British Dictionary definitions for swathing


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
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Word Origin and History for swathing



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
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