[swoth, swawth]
See more synonyms for swath on Thesaurus.com
  1. the space covered by the stroke of a scythe or the cut of a mowing machine.
  2. the piece or strip so cut.
  3. a line or ridge of grass, grain, or the like, cut and thrown together by a scythe or mowing machine.
  4. a strip, belt, or long and relatively narrow extent of anything.
  1. cut a swath, to make a pretentious display; attract notice: The new doctor cut a swath in the small community.
Also swathe.

Origin of swath

before 900; Middle English; Old English swæth footprint; cognate with German Shwade
Can be confusedswath swathe
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for swath

fodder, grass, feed, chaff, forage, provender, swath, herbage

Examples from the Web for swath

Contemporary Examples of swath

Historical Examples of swath

  • Steel-Blue had cut a swath around him 15 feet deep and five feet wide.

    Acid Bath

    Vaseleos Garson

  • Now you can understand the width of the swath he cuts in these parts.

  • I devastated a swath of territory fifty miles wide and a hundred miles long.

    At Good Old Siwash

    George Fitch

  • He is rather excitable and erratic, but he cuts quite a swath here.

    Polly the Pagan

    Isabel Anderson

  • His scythe is one that don't need any grindstun, and his swath is one that must be cut.

    Sweet Cicely

    Josiah Allen's Wife: Marietta Holley

British Dictionary definitions for swath


swathe (sweɪð)

noun plural swaths (swɔːðz) or swathes
  1. the width of one sweep of a scythe or of the blade of a mowing machine
  2. the strip cut by either of these in one course
  3. the quantity of cut grass, hay, or similar crop left in one course of such mowing
  4. a long narrow strip or belt

Word Origin for swath

Old English swæth; related to Old Norse svath smooth patch
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 swath

Old English swæð, swaðu "track, trace, band," from Proto-Germanic *swathan, *swatho (cf. Old Frisian swethe "boundary made by a scythe," Middle Dutch swade, German Schwad "a row of cut grass"); ulterior connections uncertain. Meaning "space covered by the single cut of a scythe" emerged late 15c., and that of "strip, lengthwise extent" is from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with swath


see cut a wide swath.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.