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swoop Line breaks: swoop

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.

Words that rhyme with swoop

bloop, cock-a-hoop, coop, croup, droop, drupe, dupe, goop, group, Guadeloupe, hoop, loop, poop, recoup, roup, scoop, sloop, snoop, soup, stoep, stoop, stoup, stupe, troop, troupe, whoop

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