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

Related Words for swathing

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

Examples from the Web for swathing

Historical Examples of swathing

  • The covering was not so much a robe as a swathing, and we had time to discuss it briefly.

    The Shadow World

    Hamlin Garland

  • A swathing of bandages covered the abdomen, and the mouth was wrapped in cloth.

    A. D. 2000

    Alvarado M. Fuller

  • It had hidden itself in its softest snows of white, swathing mist.

    The White People

    Frances Hodgson Burnett

  • The custom of swathing babies with bandages is very ancient.

  • Under the swathing of linen he could see where the hands were folded on the breast.

    Bunker Bean

    Harry Leon Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for swathing


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 swathing



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