Definition of swidden in English:



  • 1An area of land cleared for cultivation by slashing and burning vegetation.

    • ‘The Karen response was the limited expansion of wet-rice terraces and the adoption of careful conservation measures to preserve the productivity of swiddens.’
    • ‘Forest or grassland is burned to make swiddens at the end of the dry season in February and March.’
    • ‘In this type of subsistence farming rice was the most important crop and several of the 92 recognized rice varieties were planted in new swiddens.’
    • ‘Paddy rice and rice grown in swiddens (slash-and-burn agriculture) in hilly areas provides subsistence for the majority of the population.’
    • ‘Cultivation of swidden was still common in two thirds of Finland as late as the 1830s, and was used occasionally in the whole country except for Lapland.’
    • ‘Respondents often contrasted this term with takin k'inal, which I have glossed as ‘dry, unfertile land,’ and was used to describe recently fallowed swiddens and early successional forest.’
    1. 1.1The method of clearing land by slashing and burning vegetation.
      ‘the practice of swidden’


Late 18th century (as a verb, originally dialect): variant of dialect swithen to burn.