[ swon-uhp-ing ]

  1. the taking up of young swans to mark them with nicks on the beak for identification.

  2. an annual expedition for this purpose on the Thames.

Origin of swan-upping

1800–10; swan1 + upping (up + -ing1)

Words Nearby swan-upping

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How to use swan-upping in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for swan-upping


  1. the practice or action of marking nicks in swans' beaks as a sign of ownership

  2. the annual swan-upping of royal cygnets on the River Thames

Origin of swan-upping

C16: from up (in the archaic sense: to catch and mark a swan)

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