[swoth, sweyth]
verb (used with object), swathed, swath·ing.
  1. to wrap, bind, or swaddle with bands of some material; wrap up closely or fully.
  2. to bandage.
  3. to enfold or envelop, as wrappings do.
  4. to wrap (cloth, rope, etc.) around something.
  1. 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]
  1. swath.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for swathes

wrap, swaddle, bandage, clothe, drape, bind, cover

Examples from the Web for swathes

Historical Examples of swathes

  • Death, issuing from that great power of artillery, laid the soldiers in swathes.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • A Maxim they had with them also swept horses and men away in swathes.

    The Invasion

    William Le Queux

  • When they met again, he had his head bound up with swathes of linen.

    Swirling Waters

    Max Rittenberg

  • Lavishing her silky spray, she swathes them and then sucks the body at her ease.

  • It swathes those impossible masses in draperies soothingly uncertain of outline.

    In Defense of Women

    H. L. Mencken

British Dictionary definitions for swathes


verb (tr)
  1. to bandage (a wound, limb, etc), esp completely
  2. to wrap a band, garment, etc, around, esp so as to cover completely; swaddle
  3. to envelop
  1. a bandage or wrapping
  2. 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 swathes



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