Share this entry

Share this page

swidden

Line breaks: swid|den
Pronunciation: /ˈswɪd(ə)n
 
/

Definition of swidden in English:

noun

1An area of land cleared for cultivation by slashing and burning vegetation: paddy rice and rice grown in swiddens in hilly areas provides subsistence for the majority of the population [mass noun]: the forest had been reduced to swidden
More example sentences
  • Paddy rice and rice grown in swiddens (slash-and-burn agriculture) in hilly areas provides subsistence for the majority of the population.
  • Respondents often contrasted this term with takin k'inal, which I have glossed as ‘dry, unfertile land,’ and was used to describe recently fallowed swiddens and early successional forest.
  • Forest or grassland is burned to make swiddens at the end of the dry season in February and March.
1.1 [mass noun] The method of clearing land by slashing and burning vegetation: the practice of swidden

verb

[with object] Back to top  
Clear (land) by slashing and burning vegetation: (as noun swiddening) most horticulture in New Zealand was essentially swiddening
More example sentences
  • It can be argued that in the nineteenth century, growing animal husbandry maintained slash-and-burn cultivation, as butter production was mainly based on good summer pastures created by swiddening.
  • Some animals, such as red squirrels and capercaillie, suffered from swiddening as well as the felling of timber in general.
  • Contrary to the tropics, swiddening in Finland also created rich cultural biotopes and new habitats important for certain species by favoring broad-leaved trees at the expense of spruce stands.

Origin

late 18th century (as a verb, originally dialect): variant of dialect swithen 'to burn'.

Definition of swidden in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

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 reciprocity
Pronunciation: ˌresəˈpräsədē
noun
exchanging things with others for mutual benefit…