Origin of swarf

1560–70; < Old Norse svarf, akin to sverfa to file, or continuing Old English geswearf, gesweorf
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for swarf

Historical Examples of swarf

British Dictionary definitions for swarf


  1. material removed by cutting or grinding tools in the machining of metals, stone, etc
  2. radioactive metal waste from a nuclear power station
  3. small fragments of disintegrating spacecraft, orbiting the earth

Word Origin for swarf

C16: of Scandinavian origin; related to Old Norse svarf metallic dust
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

Word Origin and History for swarf

"grit from a grinding tool," from Old English geswearf "filings," or Old Norse svarf "file dust," related to sverfa "to file."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper