[swoth, sweyth]

verb (used with object), swathed, swath·ing.

to wrap, bind, or swaddle with bands of some material; wrap up closely or fully.
to bandage.
to enfold or envelop, as wrappings do.
to wrap (cloth, rope, etc.) around something.


a band of linen or the like in which something is wrapped; wrapping; bandage.

Origin of swathe

before 1050; (noun) Middle English; Old English *swæth or *swath (in swathum dative plural); cf. swaddle; (v.) Middle English swathen, late Old English swathian, derivative of the noun; cognate with Old Norse svatha


[swoth, sweyth]


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for swathe

Historical Examples of swathe

  • He would not be at the pains even to swathe his own legs or strap his own sandals.

    Little Novels of Italy

    Maurice Henry Hewlett

  • Swathe the body in the thickest of non-conductors of heat, and what happens?

    The Silent Bullet

    Arthur B. Reeve

  • They sometimes so swathe the peaks with light as to abolish their definition.

  • Where the swathe of the scythe is wide men's souls expand in heart qualities.

    War and the Weird

    Forbes Phillips

  • They swathe their bodies from neck to ankle with gaily coloured calico.

    An African Adventure

    Isaac F. Marcosson

British Dictionary definitions for swathe


verb (tr)

to bandage (a wound, limb, etc), esp completely
to wrap a band, garment, etc, around, esp so as to cover completely; swaddle
to envelop


a bandage or wrapping
a variant spelling of swath
Derived Formsswathable or swatheable, adjective

Word Origin for swathe

Old English swathian; related to swæthel swaddling clothes, Old High German swedil, Dutch zwadel; see swaddle
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 swathe

Old English swaþian "to swathe," from swaðu "track, trace, band" (see swath). The noun meaning "infant's swaddling bands" was found in Old English as swaþum (dative plural).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper