Definition of swoop in English:


Syllabification: swoop
Pronunciation: /swo͞op


  • 1 [no object] (Especially of a bird) move rapidly downward through the air: the barn owl can swoop down on a mouse in total darkness the aircraft swooped in to land
    More example sentences
    • The small bird swooped down and landed by the girls hand.
    • A fresh winter wind whips past and the occasional bird swoops through a brilliant blue sky.
    • The sight is dramatic as the bird swoops on its prey and lifts it clear of the water in its claws.
    dive, descend, sweep, pounce, plunge, pitch, nosedive; rush, dart, speed, zoom
  • 1.1Carry out a sudden attack, especially in order to make a capture or arrest: investigators swooped on the Graf family home
    More example sentences
    • This morning's events followed three arrests after police swooped on homes across the district in a series of raids yesterday.
    • A 22-year-old man has been arrested after police swooped on the four-bedroom home in Woodward Heights, Grays.
    • Five people were arrested today when police swooped on a house on a York estate as part of a clampdown on crime in the area.
    raid, pounce on, attack, assault, assail, charge, bust
  • 2 [with object] informal Seize with a sweeping motion: she swooped up the hen in her arms
    More example sentences
    • At one point Baldwin swooped one woman off her feet in a scene that was reminiscent of an old World War II movie reel celebrating the war's end.
    • I dropped my phone and ran over to her swooping her up just as she was about to grab onto the blade of the knife.
    • Melody's work at untying herself was interrupted by Christine bursting into the room, and swooping her into a huge hug.


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  • A swooping or snatching movement or action: four members were arrested following a swoop by detectives on their homes
    More example sentences
    • But he ruled out a swoop for even more shares in the company, saying ‘We have no plans to further increase the level of this investment.’
    • He has contacts within the flashy high-speed world of Formula One and some of the men involved in his financial swoop for City are believed to be from the Grand Prix circuit.
    • There is still scope to sign players on frees, though, and Hughes is open to the idea of making a swoop for someone like Cole, providing it's financially viable.


at (or in) one fell swoop

see fell4.


mid 16th century (in the sense 'sweep along in a stately manner'): perhaps a dialect variant of Old English swāpan (see sweep). The early sense of the noun was 'a blow, stroke'.

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