- 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 swooping
It has the swooping, symmetrical grace of a bird's wingspan.The World's Most Beautiful Boat—Yours for Half a Billion Dollars
October 19, 2014
They craft melodies that mirror those experiences, swooping and soaring and begging you to sing along.Why Is It Cool to Hate Coldplay? A First Listen of New Album ‘Ghost Stories’
March 26, 2014
He says the way we do this is similar to a bird of prey assessing its quarry, swooping in.David Best Creates a Temple Made of Memories Outside San Francisco
Debra A. Klein
February 14, 2014
He did the same for my sister, swooping in to whisk her away from the Cadet Org in Florida.Scientology’s Sea Org: A Story of Escape for Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise
July 6, 2012
European leaders have pinned their hopes on wealthy foreign investors, swooping in to buy eurozone sovereign.Germany Must Pay Europe’s Tab If It Wants to Keep the Union Together
June 8, 2012
The general tenor of the sound was a kind of swooping, batlike whine.Pagan Passions
Gordon Randall Garrett
"Give it to me this instant," cried Winnie, swooping upon the small girl.Rosemary
With a great sweeping, swooping heave Mittie May made the last leap.Sundry Accounts
Irvin S. Cobb
He was gone, with the swooping suddenness of his appearance.The Thing from the Lake
Eleanor M. Ingram
The water was whirling, whirling, the whole black night was swooping in rings.The Rainbow
D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
- (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 swooping
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 swooping
see one fell swoop.