Share this entry

scythe Syllabification: scythe
Pronunciation: /sīT͟H/

Definition of scythe in English:


Image of scythe
A tool used for cutting crops such as grass or wheat, with a long curved blade at the end of a long pole attached to which are one or two short handles.
Example sentences
  • He also often bears a scythe or sickle in his arms, reflecting that Time's eroding force cuts down everything.
  • Her knives were twice a long as a scythe set straight upon the handle.
  • But the small party does not manage to remain separate, for it meets a masqued procession featuring Winged Time, his scythe and hourglass.


[with object] Back to top  
1Cut with a scythe.
Example sentences
  • Only Father Death reaped a bountiful harvest as he scythed the children of the community.
  • I screamed, firing back, emptying my weapon into the fleeing figures: mowing several down like scythed wheat.
  • Pesticides, similarly, were unknown: docks, nettles and thistles were scythed away by hand just as they came into seed.
1.1 [no object] Move through or penetrate something rapidly and forcefully: attacking players can scythe through defenses
More example sentences
  • The Drumaness bowler scythed through the defence of Alan Millar with just the second delivery of his first over, dismissing the Bangor opener for 4 runs.
  • On the stroke of half time Oxford once again scythed through the shaky gold defence, hooker Andy Dalgleish supplying Bradshaw with the perfect pass to score his second of the evening.
  • The Empire - and its religion - survived until the crescent moon of Islam scythed across the region in the 7th century AD.


Old English sīthe, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zeis and German Sense.

Words that rhyme with scythe

blithe, lithe, tithe, writhe

Definition of scythe in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day luxe
Pronunciation: ləks
expensive and of high quality; luxurious