Main definitions of swathe in English

: swathe1swathe2

swathe1

(also swath)

noun

  • 1A broad strip or area of something:

    ‘vast swathes of countryside’
    figurative ‘a significant swathe of popular opinion’
    • ‘As we made our way to Minj, emerald green tea plantations and broad swaths of coffee trees revealed evidence of foreign development.’
    • ‘Planting of cork oak, fig and magnolia grandiflora, for example, will contribute bold structure and varied foliage, while colour will be provided by broad swathes of woodland perennials.’
    • ‘The ideological objection to legalisation is ugly and simple, and touches broader swathes of the world.’
    • ‘Huge swathes of the area were masked under a pall of white smoke and a strong smell hung in the air.’
    • ‘But yesterday, red-faced officials admitted whole swathes were lifted word for word grammatical slips and all from a student thesis.’
    • ‘In 164 photographs, taken during a trip from the coast inland, he examines the results of generations of logging that have left swaths of barren landscape where lush rain forests once grew.’
    • ‘Broad swathes of China's industrial heartland are now chronically short of electricity.’
    • ‘Well we must wait to see the reaction to Space for Nature, especially as the project aims to expand and purchase large swaths of valuable forested areas in South Bohemia and Moravia.’
    • ‘In contrast, only modest efforts are now underway in the industry as a whole to integrate broad swaths of the enterprise.’
    • ‘A few areas cut across disciplines and require particularly broad, horizontal swaths of expertise.’
    • ‘It reserved special scorn for the General Mining Law of 1872, which has handed over huge swaths of public land to miners since it was instituted.’
    • ‘Even if the refuge is protected, which looks likely, the energy bill still could still open vast swaths of other public lands to for-profit exploitation.’
    • ‘In the fall of 2003, U.S. officials watched anxiously as a potent guerrilla resistance rose across broad swaths of northern and central Iraq.’
    • ‘The mass media provided the means to promote those brands: television and radio networks, magazines, and newspapers that reached vast swaths of the public simply and efficiently.’
    • ‘Broad swaths of asphalt also fragment wildlife habitat and block migration corridors - and will eventually threaten populations isolated from food sources and potential mates.’
    • ‘Morganton's struggles are playing out not just across many other parts of North Carolina but also through swaths of the American heartland.’
    • ‘Beginning in August, Florida was flattened by four successive hurricanes that ripped up broad swaths of the state.’
    • ‘Because of the willful collective historical and moral ignorance of vast swaths of the public and the opinion leaders who influence them.’
    • ‘‘It looks bad,’ she said, noting that huge swaths of the park appear to have been deforested.’
    • ‘Raw materials were brought to the city from across the huge swathe of Northern England under Viking control in the 10th century.’
  • 2A row or line of grass, corn, or other crop as it falls or lies when mown or reaped:

    ‘if the day is windy, the swathes should be high and narrow’
    ‘swathes of barley’
    • ‘In the unlikely event of a sea entry into Dunedin, the traveller would see a small city ringed by large swathes of rough grass and trees, a ‘Town Belt’.’
    • ‘A device on a mobile agricultural machine for contactless scanning of contours extending over the ground, such as the contour of a swath of crop material.’
    • ‘It involves natural-looking gardens and swathes of grasses mixed with drifts of perennials chosen for their shape, color and hardiness.’
    • ‘Smith flashes a smile and scuffs his foot across a swath of browned grass where Greene and the other sprinters had vomited.’
    • ‘It's a familiar scene in the country - a tractor chugging its way across a field mowing down swath after swath of green alfalfa.’
    1. 2.1 A strip left clear by the passage of a mowing machine or scythe:
      ‘the combine had cut a deep swathe around the border of the fields’
      • ‘For major roads they cleared swathes as wide as the distance of two cannon shots.’
      • ‘Along the wall, they has cleared a swath as wide as a football field, shearing off row after row of houses.’
      • ‘Esgar had planned to drive iron stakes every few feet, joined by lengths of chain, but that proved too costly, so he settled for clearing a swath as wide as a lady might cast a stone.’
      • ‘At that point in time, it moved north through Mississippi, cutting a swath from one side of Mississippi to the other, which destroyed the coast of Mississippi and all of the infrastructure in the first three miles.’
      • ‘Known as our first family of Celtic music, this band's roots go deep and wide and cut a swath across musical genres.’
      • ‘The well known eccentric says the machine is perfectly safe: it cuts a swathe about the width of a lawn mower and at the same time burns the grass, making laborious collection of the clippings unnecessary.’
      • ‘It cut a deadly swathe through the Philippines and Taiwan earlier in the week.’
      • ‘An ugly swathe has been cut through the magnificent forest opposite the McGarry farm.’
      • ‘So when the government decided to cut a swath of Tunbury and some adjacent woods to expand a major highway, it took the trouble to ensure that the dormice- and part of the forest itself-were both moved to new locations nearby.’
      • ‘In the background, the soon-to-be evacuated red-roofed villas of Dugit were visible, amidst swathes of razed farmland.’
      • ‘We stood in the middle of the road, and looked at the machines, the torn-up swath sixty feet wide, at the trees on fire, the smoke rolling, the mud, the whole mess.’

Origin

Old English swæth, swathu ‘track, trace’, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch zwad(e) and German Schwade. In Middle English the term denoted a measure of the width of grassland, probably reckoned by a sweep of the mower's scythe.

Pronunciation:

swathe

/sweɪð/

Main definitions of swathe in English

: swathe1swathe2

swathe2

verb

[WITH OBJECT]usually be swathed in
  • Wrap in several layers of fabric:

    ‘his hands were swathed in bandages’
    • ‘Ayrshire landmark Ailsa Craig is swathed in a layer of mist, thick enough to maintain a veil of secrecy.’
    • ‘It was of a beach, and the sky was swathed in shades of robin's egg blue.’
    • ‘Snowdrops look best when left to their own sense of wild abandon; swathing woodland and gardens in bright whiteness, and challenging the dismal grey light of winter.’
    • ‘For the second day in a row the moors were swathed in mists first thing in the morning, a sea mist rolling in again to meet them, and the world damp, drizzly and chill.’
    • ‘A few were in wheelchairs, others on crutches and swathed in bandages.’
    • ‘One boy lay swathed in bandages on a stretcher, his severed leg beside him.’
    • ‘Later that day, I finally came to, only to find my head swathed in yards of bandages.’
    • ‘The warm fall's night was perfect, but when one was swathed in garments in dancing, it was incredibly hot.’
    • ‘Often the pastures are swathed in mist, giving them a dreamlike quality.’
    • ‘One thing hadn't been lost in the leap, and that was the memory of Al swathed in bandages.’
    • ‘The undoubted chief, so swathed in bandoliers of ammunition that bullets fired at him would have bounced off, reached down and grabbed my hand.’
    • ‘It didn't really matter whether she was swathed in silk or casual in cotton - she was stunning either way.’
    • ‘It was as if the models were swathed in giant fabric sample books, each layer peeling off to reveal another beneath.’
    • ‘Turrisaevum jutted out across the landscape, half swathed in mist and silhouetted against the dim skyline.’
    • ‘The man was tall and thin, resembling a scrawny tree, as the black robes he was swathed in covered him from neck to toe in a most unflattering style.’
    • ‘Inside the van the scientists pulled aside layers of cloth swathing the king.’
    • ‘The early morning mists that swathed the hills and the moors descended during the late afternoon, to meet a chill sea mist flowing in from the Channel.’
    • ‘The seats were still swathed in poly, the floor mats wrapped in paper.’
    • ‘She was swathed in white, bound from head to toe in that mother of all hues, immaculate and true.’
    • ‘Giles looked down at the huge, white bulbous bandages swathing her arms and legs.’
    wrap, envelop, bind, swaddle, bandage, bundle up, muffle up, cover, cloak, shroud, drape, wind, enfold, bedeck, overlay, encase, sheathe
    View synonyms

noun

  • A piece or strip of material in which something is wrapped:

    ‘they wrapped the body inside a canvas swathe’
    • ‘There is a rough and ready quality to the portraits, which often feature a swathe of canvas carelessly draped, by leading Swiss photographer Christian Coigny.’
    • ‘Liquid Dreaming by lorrainemd is just plain pretty - especially that swathe of red material behind the model which looks more like ink diffused in water than fabric.’
    • ‘In fact, the swathe of material - about six yards long and two feet wide - is a saree, a traditional Indian dress.’

Origin

Late Old English swath- (noun), swathian (verb); compare with swaddle.

Pronunciation:

swathe

/sweɪð/