- to sweep through the air, as a bird or a bat, especially down upon prey.
- to come down upon something in a sudden, swift attack (often followed by down and on or upon): The army swooped down on the town.
- to take, lift, scoop up, or remove with or as with one sweeping motion (often followed by up, away, or off): He swooped her up in his arms.
- an act or instance of swooping; a sudden, swift descent.
- at/in one fell swoop, all at once or all together, as if by one blow: The quake flattened the houses at one fell swoop.
Origin of swoop
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for swoop
She needs to reassure Brody that all will be well—that the CIA will swoop in and iron everything out.‘Homeland’ Finale Shocker: A Death in the Family
December 16, 2013
What next, a swoop by the Irish cops on eagles lifting babies from prams?Roma Face Persecution Across Europe In New Baby Stealing Panic
Tom Sykes, Barbie Latza Nadeau
October 24, 2013
Watching this movie makes you want to swoop in and rescue all the kids who go through things like this in real life.How Jennifer Hudson Played a Drug Addict—Despite a Lifetime of Sobriety
October 11, 2013
That leaves plenty of room for Patinkin to swoop in and claim one of the spots that is rightfully his.Give Mandy Patinkin an Emmy Nomination for ‘Homeland,’ Already!
July 17, 2013
Occasionally an owl will take wing from a branch and swoop away with a flash of white.Benjamin Percy: How I Write
June 5, 2013
The Mercutians were almost directly overhead now, preparing to swoop.Slaves of Mercury
So the swoop of the squall took them completely by surprise.Fair Harbor
Joseph Crosby Lincoln
His right hand seemed to hang on the instant for the swoop to his gun.The Coyote
With a swoop upwards instead of a swoop downwards, as you say.With The Night Mail
Like a falcon on its perch, he awaited the opportunity to swoop on the quarry.Charles Carleton Coffin
William Elliot Griffis, D. D.
- (intr; usually foll by down, on, or upon) to sweep or pounce suddenly
- (tr; often foll by up, away, or off) to seize or scoop suddenly
- the act of swooping
- a swift descent
Word Origin and History for swoop
1560s, "to move or walk in a stately manner," apparently from a dialectal survival of Old English swapan "to sweep, brandish, dash," from Proto-Germanic *swaipanan, from PIE root *swei- "to swing, bend, to turn." Meaning "pounce upon with a sweeping movement" first recorded 1630s. Spelling with -oo- may have been influenced by Scottish and northern England dialectal soop "to sweep," from Old Norse sopa "to sweep." Related: Swooped; swooping.
1540s, from swoop (v.). Phrase one fell swoop is from Shakespeare.
Oh, Hell-Kite! All? What, All my pretty Chickens, and their Damme, At one fell swoope? ["Macbeth," IV.iii.219]
Idioms and Phrases with swoop
see one fell swoop.