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swidden Line breaks: swid|den
Pronunciation: /ˈswɪd(ə)n/

Definition of swidden in English:


1An area of land cleared for cultivation by slashing and burning vegetation: paddy rice and rice grown in swiddens in hilly areas provides subsistence for the majority of the population [mass noun]: the forest had been reduced to swidden
More example sentences
  • Paddy rice and rice grown in swiddens (slash-and-burn agriculture) in hilly areas provides subsistence for the majority of the population.
  • 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.
  • Forest or grassland is burned to make swiddens at the end of the dry season in February and March.
1.1 [mass noun] The method of clearing land by slashing and burning vegetation: the practice of swidden


[with object] Back to top  
Clear (land) by slashing and burning vegetation: (as noun swiddening) most horticulture in New Zealand was essentially swiddening
More example sentences
  • It can be argued that in the nineteenth century, growing animal husbandry maintained slash-and-burn cultivation, as butter production was mainly based on good summer pastures created by swiddening.
  • Some animals, such as red squirrels and capercaillie, suffered from swiddening as well as the felling of timber in general.
  • Contrary to the tropics, swiddening in Finland also created rich cultural biotopes and new habitats important for certain species by favoring broad-leaved trees at the expense of spruce stands.


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

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