There are 2 main definitions of swathe in English:

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swathe 1

Line breaks: swathe
Pronunciation: /sweɪð/
(chiefly North American also swath sweɪðswɒθ)

noun (plural swathes sweɪðz or swaths sweɪðzswɒθs)

1A row or line of grass, corn, or other crop as it falls or lies when mown or reaped: if the day is windy, the swathes should be high and narrow swathes of barley
More example sentences
  • It involves natural-looking gardens and swathes of grasses mixed with drifts of perennials chosen for their shape, color and hardiness.
  • In the unlikely event of a sea entry into Dunedin, the traveller would see a small city ringed by large swathes of rough grass and trees, a ‘Town Belt’.
  • Smith flashes a smile and scuffs his foot across a swath of browned grass where Greene and the other sprinters had vomited.
1.1A strip left clear by the passage of a mowing machine or scythe: the combine had cut a deep swathe around the border of the fields
More example sentences
  • For major roads they cleared swathes as wide as the distance of two cannon shots.
  • Esgar had planned to drive iron stakes every few feet, joined by lengths of chain, but that proved too costly, so he settled for clearing a swath as wide as a lady might cast a stone.
  • Along the wall, they has cleared a swath as wide as a football field, shearing off row after row of houses.
2A broad strip or area of something: vast swathes of countryside figurative a significant swathe of popular opinion
More example sentences
  • In the fall of 2003, U.S. officials watched anxiously as a potent guerrilla resistance rose across broad swaths of northern and central Iraq.
  • As we made our way to Minj, emerald green tea plantations and broad swaths of coffee trees revealed evidence of foreign development.
  • In contrast, only modest efforts are now underway in the industry as a whole to integrate broad swaths of the enterprise.


cut a swathe through
Pass through (something) causing great damage, destruction, or change: AIDS has cut a swathe through battalions of ordinary people
More example sentences
  • Shortly thereafter, she'd begun to rent a small house near where much of the earlier destruction had cut a swath through the town.
  • Wald singled out AIDS, which is cutting a swath through many of the continent's armies.
  • A gay stigma - particularly powerful in the still homophobic world of African-Americans - keeps the disease on the ‘down-low’ even as it cuts a swathe through whole populations.
cut a wide swath
North American Attract a great deal of attention by trying to impress others.
Example sentences
  • After cutting a wide swath through dance music's hardest-hitting genres, Jackal & Hyde had such an itch to succeed that the duo plunged ahead and created its own brand of block-rocking sound.
  • So, when you think about, it really cuts a wide swathe of people.
  • Blockhead's instrumentals cut a wide swath away from his other contemporaries.


Old English swæth, swathu 'track, trace', of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch zwad(e) and German Schwade. In Middle English the term denoted a measure of the width of grassland, probably reckoned by a sweep of the mower's scythe.

Words that rhyme with swathe

bathe, lathe, rathe, scathe, spathe
Definition of swathe in:
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There are 2 main definitions of swathe in English:

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swathe 2 Line breaks: swathe
Pronunciation: /sweɪð/


[with object] (usually be swathed in)
Wrap in several layers of fabric: his hands were swathed in bandages
More example sentences
  • It was as if the models were swathed in giant fabric sample books, each layer peeling off to reveal another beneath.
  • Ayrshire landmark Ailsa Craig is swathed in a layer of mist, thick enough to maintain a veil of secrecy.
  • For the second day in a row the moors were swathed in mists first thing in the morning, a sea mist rolling in again to meet them, and the world damp, drizzly and chill.


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A piece or strip of material in which something is wrapped: they wrapped the body inside a canvas swathe
More example sentences
  • In fact, the swathe of material - about six yards long and two feet wide - is a saree, a traditional Indian dress.
  • There is a rough and ready quality to the portraits, which often feature a swathe of canvas carelessly draped, by leading Swiss photographer Christian Coigny.
  • Liquid Dreaming by lorrainemd is just plain pretty - especially that swathe of red material behind the model which looks more like ink diffused in water than fabric.


Late Old English swath- (noun), swathian (verb); compare with swaddle.

Definition of swathe in:
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