From Middle English swithe, swythe, from Old English swīþe (“very much, exceedingly, severely, violently, fiercely, especially, exceedingly”), from Proto-Germanic *swinþaz, *swenþaz (“strong”), from Proto-Indo-European *swent- (“active, healthy”). More at swith.
- Alternative form of
- instantly, quickly, speedily, rapidly, strongly; very
- That thou doest, do thou swithe. — Wyclif, (John xiii. 27)
- And he yede and opened the tomb, and there flew out an adder right hideous to see; the which as swithe flew about the city and the country, and soon after the city sank down. — The Travels of Sir John Mandeville
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for swithe in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)