swarm

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English swarm, from Old English swearm (swarm, multitude), from Proto-Germanic *swarmaz (swarm, dizziness), from Proto-Indo-European *swer- (to buzz, hum). Cognate with Dutch zwerm, German Schwarm, Danish sværm, Swedish svärm, Icelandic svarmur (tumult, swarm), Latin susurrus (whispering, humming), Lithuanian surma (a pipe), Russian свире́ль (svirélʹ, a pipe, reed).

The verb is from Middle English swarmen, swermen, from Old English swierman (to swarm), from Proto-Germanic *swarmijaną (to swarm), from the noun. Cognate with Scots swairm, swerm (to swarm), Dutch zwermen, German schwärmen, Danish sværme, Swedish svärma.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

swarm of locusts.

swarm (plural swarms)

  1. A large number of insects, especially when in motion or (for bees) migrating to a new colony.
    • Milton
      a deadly swarm of hornets
  2. A mass of people, animals or things in motion or turmoil.
    a swarm of meteorites
    • Addison
      those prodigious swarms that had settled themselves in every part of it [Italy]
  3. (computing) A group of nodes sharing the same torrent in a BitTorrent network.

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Verb[edit]

swarm (third-person singular simple present swarms, present participle swarming, simple past and past participle swarmed)

  1. (intransitive) To move as a swarm.
    • 1915, George A. Birmingham, Gossamer, chapterI:
      There is an hour or two, after the passengers have embarked, which is disquieting and fussy. Mail bags, so I understand, are being put on board. Stewards, carrying cabin trunks, swarm in the corridors.
  2. (intransitive) To teem, or be overrun with insects, people, etc.
  3. (transitive) To fill a place as a swarm.
  4. (transitive) To overwhelm as by an opposing army.
  5. To climb by gripping with arms and legs alternately.
    • William Coxe (1748–1828)
      At the top was placed a piece of money, as a prize for those who could swarm up and seize it.
    • 1919, W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence, chapter 55
      She called out, and a boy came running along. He swarmed up a tree, and presently threw down a ripe nut. Ata pierced a hole in it, and the doctor took a long, refreshing draught.
  6. To breed multitudes.
    • John Milton (1608-1674)
      Not so thick swarmed once the soil / Bedropped with blood of Gorgon.

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

See also[edit]

Anagrams[edit]