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Line breaks: swoop
Pronunciation: /swuːp

Definition of swoop in English:


[no object, with adverbial of direction]
1(Especially of a bird) move rapidly downwards 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, drop, plummet, plunge, pitch, nosedive;
rush, dart, speed, zoom
1.1Carry out a sudden attack, especially in order to make a capture or arrest: armed police swooped on a flat after a tip-off
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, search;
pounce, make a raid;
attack, assault, assail, charge
North American informal bust
1.2 [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.
raid, surprise search;
attack, assault
North American informal bust, takedown


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'.


at (or in) one fell swoop

see fell4.

Definition of swoop in:

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