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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Morganton's struggles are playing out not just across many other parts of North Carolina but also through swaths of the American heartland.’
    • ‘But yesterday, red-faced officials admitted whole swathes were lifted word for word grammatical slips and all from a student thesis.’
    • ‘‘It looks bad,’ she said, noting that huge swaths of the park appear to have been deforested.’
    • ‘Huge swathes of the area were masked under a pall of white smoke and a strong smell hung in the air.’
    • ‘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 ideological objection to legalisation is ugly and simple, and touches broader swathes of the world.’
    • ‘A few areas cut across disciplines and require particularly broad, horizontal swaths of expertise.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Because of the willful collective historical and moral ignorance of vast swaths of the public and the opinion leaders who influence them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Beginning in August, Florida was flattened by four successive hurricanes that ripped up broad swaths of the state.’
    • ‘Broad swathes of China's industrial heartland are now chronically short of electricity.’
    • ‘In contrast, only modest efforts are now underway in the industry as a whole to integrate broad swaths of the enterprise.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Raw materials were brought to the city from across the huge swathe of Northern England under Viking control in the 10th century.’
    • ‘Broad swaths of asphalt also fragment wildlife habitat and block migration corridors - and will eventually threaten populations isolated from food sources and potential mates.’
  • 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’
    • ‘It's a familiar scene in the country - a tractor chugging its way across a field mowing down swath after swath of green alfalfa.’
    • ‘Smith flashes a smile and scuffs his foot across a swath of browned grass where Greene and the other sprinters had vomited.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘It involves natural-looking gardens and swathes of grasses mixed with drifts of perennials chosen for their shape, color and hardiness.’
    1. 2.1A 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’
      • ‘Along the wall, they has cleared a swath as wide as a football field, shearing off row after row of houses.’
      • ‘In the background, the soon-to-be evacuated red-roofed villas of Dugit were visible, amidst swathes of razed farmland.’
      • ‘Known as our first family of Celtic music, this band's roots go deep and wide and cut a swath across musical genres.’
      • ‘An ugly swathe has been cut through the magnificent forest opposite the McGarry farm.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For major roads they cleared swathes as wide as the distance of two cannon shots.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It cut a deadly swathe through the Philippines and Taiwan earlier in the week.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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]
  • Wrap in several layers of fabric.

    ‘his hands were swathed in bandages’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She was swathed in white, bound from head to toe in that mother of all hues, immaculate and true.’
    • ‘The warm fall's night was perfect, but when one was swathed in garments in dancing, it was incredibly hot.’
    • ‘Giles looked down at the huge, white bulbous bandages swathing her arms and legs.’
    • ‘One thing hadn't been lost in the leap, and that was the memory of Al swathed in bandages.’
    • ‘Inside the van the scientists pulled aside layers of cloth swathing the king.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Turrisaevum jutted out across the landscape, half swathed in mist and silhouetted against the dim skyline.’
    • ‘A few were in wheelchairs, others on crutches and swathed in bandages.’
    • ‘Often the pastures are swathed in mist, giving them a dreamlike quality.’
    • ‘The seats were still swathed in poly, the floor mats wrapped in paper.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Later that day, I finally came to, only to find my head swathed in yards of bandages.’
    • ‘Ayrshire landmark Ailsa Craig is swathed in a layer of mist, thick enough to maintain a veil of secrecy.’
    • ‘It was as if the models were swathed in giant fabric sample books, each layer peeling off to reveal another beneath.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It was of a beach, and the sky was swathed in shades of robin's egg blue.’
    • ‘One boy lay swathed in bandages on a stretcher, his severed leg beside him.’
    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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

swathe

/sweɪð/