[ swonz-doun ]

  1. the down or under plumage of a swan, used for trimming, powder puffs, etc.

  2. a fine, soft, thick woolen cloth.

  1. a sturdy cotton flannel with a thickly napped face.

Origin of swansdown

First recorded in 1600–10; swan1 + 's1 + down2

Words Nearby swansdown

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

How to use swansdown in a sentence

  • Although the month was September, and the weather warm even for September, a swansdown quilt lay spread upon his knees.

    The Regent | E. Arnold Bennett
  • Edward Henry leaped from his chair, and the swansdown quilt swathed his slippered feet.

    The Regent | E. Arnold Bennett
  • I am like the man in Browning who mourned over the spots upon his ‘speckled hide,’ but rejoiced in the swansdown of his lady.

    A Duet | Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Roberta's scarlet hood, edged with swansdown, was pushed back, and her hair lay in fluffy golden rings on her white forehead.

  • Her shoulders were negligently clad in a satin wrap trimmed with swansdown, held in place by a loosely tied knot of silk.

    The Precipice | Ivan Goncharov

British Dictionary definitions for swan's-down


  1. the fine soft down feathers of a swan, used to trim powder puffs, clothes, etc

  2. a thick soft fabric of wool with silk, cotton, or rayon, used for infants' clothing, etc

  1. a cotton fabric with a heavy nap

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