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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English swathe, swath, from Old English swaþu, swæþ (bandage), probably akin to Old English swaþul, sweþel (a swathe, wrap, band, bandage).


swathe (plural swathes)

  1. A bandage; a band

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English swathen, from Old English *swaþian, akin to Old English besweþian (to swathe, swaddle).


swathe (third-person singular simple present swathes, present participle swathing, simple past and past participle swathed)

  1. To bind with a swathe, band, bandage, or rollers
    • Archbishop Abbot
      Their children are never swathed or bound about with anything when they are first born.
    • 1898, J. Meade Falkner, Moonfleet Chapter 4
      The head was swathed in linen bands that had been white, but were now stained and discoloured with damp, but of this I shall not speak more, and beneath the chin-cloth the beard had once escaped.

Etymology 3[edit]

From Middle English swathe, from Old English swaþu (track, trace), from Proto-Germanic *swaþō. More at swath.


swathe (plural swathes)

  1. (chiefly British) Alternative spelling of swath
    • 2011 October 23, Phil McNulty, “Man Utd 1 - 6 Man City”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      United's stature is such that one result must not bring the immediate announcement of a shift in the balance of power in Manchester - but the swathes of empty seats around Old Trafford and the wave of attacks pouring towards David de Gea's goal in the second half emphasised that City quite simply have greater firepower and talent in their squad at present.
    • 2012, The Economist, Sep 29th 2012 issue, Venezuela’s presidential election: The autocrat and the ballot box
      As well as the advantages of abused office, Mr Chávez can boast enduring popularity among a broad swathe of poorer Venezuelans. They like him for his charisma, humble background and demotic speech.