a sample of cloth or other material.
a sample, patch, or characteristic specimen of anything.


Origin of swatch

First recorded in 1505–15; akin to switch Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for swatch

Contemporary Examples of swatch

  • The swatch itself comes to the Met from the Vatican, where it seems to have landed 1,200 or more years ago.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Swank Threads, 1,200 Years Old

    Blake Gopnik

    April 2, 2012

Historical Examples of swatch

British Dictionary definitions for swatch



a sample of cloth
a number of such samples, usually fastened together in book form
  1. a small sample of colour supplied to the printer for matching during printing
  2. a sample of ink spread on paper by a printer to check the accuracy of a required colour

Word Origin for swatch

C16: Scottish and northern English, of uncertain origin
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 swatch

1510s, "the countercheck of a tally" (Northumberland dialect), later "a tally attached to cloth sent to be dyed" (1610s, in Yorkshire), of unknown origin. Meaning "a sample piece of cloth" is from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper