Definition of swingle in English:


Line breaks: swin¦gle
Pronunciation: /ˈswɪŋg(ə)l


  • 1A wooden tool for beating flax and removing the woody parts from it.
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    • When the flax is sufficiently watered it is taken out of the pond and beaten by an implement called a swingle.
  • 2The swinging part of a flail.
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    • A flail is a simple device made up from two pieces of wood a handle or staff about five feet long and a swingle that is about two feet long.
    • The handle of the flail was raised until the swingle was shoulder high and then brought down firmly.
    • The swingle, half as long as the handle, strikes the grain.


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  • Beat (flax) with a swingle: I found a group of bare-armed women under the trees swingling flax
    More example sentences
    • When it ripened it had to be pulled, cured, seeded, swingled, spun and woven, all by hand, before it was ready to be made into wearing apparel.
    • After this comes the scutching, or swingling, which is done by chopping with dull knives on a block of wood to take out the small pieces of bark which may still be sticking to the fiber.
    • These were then separately swingled, spun and woven.


Middle English: from Middle Dutch swinghel, from the base of the verb swing.

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