[ swod-l ]
See synonyms for: swaddleswaddling on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),swad·dled, swad·dling.
  1. to bind (an infant, especially a newborn infant) with long, narrow strips of cloth to prevent free movement; wrap tightly with clothes.

  2. to wrap (anything) round with bandages.

  1. a long, narrow strip of cloth used for swaddling or bandaging.

Origin of swaddle

1375–1425; late Middle English, in suadiling (gerund); akin by gradation to Middle English swethel (noun), Old English; see swathe1, -le

Other words from swaddle

  • un·swad·dled, adjective
  • un·swad·dling, adjective

Words Nearby swaddle

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use swaddle in a sentence

  • The one thing she would not buy was a sewing machine to make her own swaddle with, as Ilse economically counselled.

    The Pastor's Wife | Elizabeth von Arnim
  • There would be sad screaming and kicking were I to swaddle mine in stone-work.

    Imaginary Conversations and Poems | Walter Savage Landor
  • Come, come, strap and string down; swaddle it round wi' sax dizzen o' wheelbands, and fasten a steel-belted fur cap ower aboon a'.

British Dictionary definitions for swaddle


/ (ˈswɒdəl) /

  1. to wind a bandage round

  2. to wrap (a baby) in swaddling clothes

  1. to restrain as if by wrapping with bandages; smother

  1. mainly US swaddling clothes

Origin of swaddle

C15: from Old English swæthel swaddling clothes; related to swathian to swathe

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