- 1A large or dense group of insects, especially flying ones.More example sentences
- The visual effect evoked a gentle snowstorm or a swarm of insects, associations which, it must be added, the artist regards as entirely incidental.
- Digital noise reduction causes people's faces and clothes to crawl, as though they were covered by a swarm of small insects.
- Along the way, we remarked on the strange powdery consistency of the soil and marveled as we were surrounded by a swarm of infinitesimal white insects.
- 1.1A large number of honeybees that leave a hive en masse with a newly fertilized queen in order to establish a new colony.More example sentences
hive, flock, collection
- When these queens mature into adults, they compete to head a new colony either by leaving with a secondary swarm or by becoming the queen in the established nest site.
- Honey bees rarely swarm away from the hive and only sting if they are antagonised.
- In 1957 swarms of the Africanized honeybee escaped the quarantine and began to establish colonies.
- 1.2 (a swarm/swarms of) A large number of people or things: a swarm of journalistsMore example sentences
- We made our way among a swarm of bodies, until I was face to face with a woman who was sobbing uninhibitedly.
- The opening minutes saw the Trinity goal a swarm of bodies as Emmaus launched several attacks that had Trinity on the back foot.
- Loup shouted, and a swarm of vehicles and troops charged from the base into the Oppressor line.
- 1.3A series of similar-sized earthquakes occurring together, typically near a volcano.More example sentences
- The USGS has been monitoring St. Helens closely since Sept. 23, when swarms of tiny earthquakes were first recorded.
- The sequential character is known as an earthquake swarm, a phenomenon of periodic tremors that can continue for months or even a year before quieting.
- The swarm of very small earthquakes was the third and largest such episode of activity since the eruption in May-August, 2003.
- 1.4 Astronomy A large number of minor celestial objects occurring together in space, especially a dense shower of meteors.More example sentences
- Any optimism is, however, tempered by the fact that - should the Shiva hypothesis be true - the next swarm of Oort Cloud comets could even now be speeding towards the inner solar system.
- Although he was not the first astronomer to propose such a comet swarm, the as-yet unconfirmed cloud is usually known as the ‘Oort Cloud’.
- Since Earth is actually orbiting the Sun through a swarm of solar system debris, the answer has to be yes.
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- 1 [no object] (Of insects) move in or form a swarm: (as adjective swarming) swarming locustsMore example sentences
- A tethered cow is occasionally discovered, smothered in ants, asphyxiated and bleeding internally from where the insects swarmed in through its ears, mouth and nose.
- ‘Insects swarm from the filter beds into foliage close by,’ Appleton said.
- Yap felt the insects swarming over him, biting and stinging, scraping and clawing, and he realized he had just run out of options.
- 1.1(Of honeybees, ants, or termites) issue from the nest in large numbers with a newly fertilized queen in order to found new colonies: the bees had swarmed and left the hiveMore example sentences
- But for many in the South, the annual emergence of fertile, winged termites swarming furiously to scatter and search for mates isn't one of them.
- Honeybees swarm, using hollows in trees which would otherwise be home to native birds or animals.
- During their tests, honeybees swarmed areas where explosive residue was present.
- 2 [no object] Move somewhere in large numbers: protesters were swarming into the buildingMore example sentences
- In what seemed like an unprecedented invasion, the ladybugs, or lady beetles, as they are also known, appeared everywhere, swarming around buildings and trees.
- With views obscured by buildings, people swarmed on to the roads and headed towards open areas, such as Lendal Bridge and Museum Gardens, blocking the path of motorists and buses.
- Police and federal agents swarmed in on that building today as part of a joint anti-terror operation.
- 2.1 (swarm with) (Of a place) be crowded or overrun with (moving people or things): the place was swarming with policeMore example sentences
- The Radisson hotel is swarming with medical crews, police officers.
- The whole area is swarming with police, as is the subway station.
- But then Vauxhall started swarming with police and before you could work out what was going on, the roads were being closed off.
- Climb (something) rapidly by gripping it with one’s hands and feet, alternately hauling and pushing oneself upward: I swarmed up the mast[ mid 16th century: of unknown origin]More example sentences
- One of the more grandiose images, of a crowd swarming up the mount to hear a sermon from Christ as the sun slowly sets, wasn't planned and came about purely by accident.
- Police then moved the exercise to Stormont, swarming up to the home of the power-sharing government in a train of armoured Land Rovers.
- They swarmed up the levelled rock blockage, pushed through the gap that Tiffany had blasted, dragging at rock that crumbled at their touch.
Old English swearm (noun), of Germanic origin; related to German Schwarm, probably also to the base of Sanskrit svarati 'it sounds'.