verb[no object, with adverbial of direction]
- 1(Especially of a bird) move rapidly downwards through the air: the barn owl can swoop down on a mouse in total darkness the aircraft swooped in to landMore example sentences
- The small bird swooped down and landed by the girls hand.
- A fresh winter wind whips past and the occasional bird swoops through a brilliant blue sky.
- The sight is dramatic as the bird swoops on its prey and lifts it clear of the water in its claws.
- 1.1Carry out a sudden attack, especially in order to make a capture or arrest: armed police swooped on a flat after a tip-offMore example sentences
- This morning's events followed three arrests after police swooped on homes across the district in a series of raids yesterday.
- A 22-year-old man has been arrested after police swooped on the four-bedroom home in Woodward Heights, Grays.
- Five people were arrested today when police swooped on a house on a York estate as part of a clampdown on crime in the area.
- 1.2 [with object] • informal Seize with a sweeping motion: she swooped up the hen in her armsMore example sentences
- At one point Baldwin swooped one woman off her feet in a scene that was reminiscent of an old World War II movie reel celebrating the war's end.
- I dropped my phone and ran over to her swooping her up just as she was about to grab onto the blade of the knife.
- Melody's work at untying herself was interrupted by Christine bursting into the room, and swooping her into a huge hug.
nounBack to top
- A swooping or snatching movement or action: four members were arrested following a swoop by detectives on their homesMore example sentences
- But he ruled out a swoop for even more shares in the company, saying ‘We have no plans to further increase the level of this investment.’
- He has contacts within the flashy high-speed world of Formula One and some of the men involved in his financial swoop for City are believed to be from the Grand Prix circuit.
- There is still scope to sign players on frees, though, and Hughes is open to the idea of making a swoop for someone like Cole, providing it's financially viable.
at (or in) one fell swoop
- see fell4.
mid 16th century (in the sense 'sweep along in a stately manner'): perhaps a dialect variant of Old English swāpan (see sweep). The early sense of the noun was 'a blow, stroke'.