Definition of swath in US English:


(also swathe)


  • 1A broad strip or area of something.

    ‘vast swaths of countryside’
    figurative ‘a significant swath of popular opinion’
  • 2A row or line of grass, grain, or other crop as it lies when mown or reaped.

    ‘swaths of barley’
    1. 2.1 A strip left clear by the passage of a mowing machine or scythe.
      ‘the combine had cut a deep swath around the border of the fields’


  • cut a wide swath

    • Attract a great deal of attention by trying to impress others.

  • cut a swath through

    • Pass through (something) causing great damage, destruction, or change.

      ‘a tornado cut a two-mile long swath through residential neighborhoods’


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.