\ ˈsīṯẖ How to pronounce scythe (audio) , ˈsī How to pronounce scythe (audio) \

Definition of scythe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an implement used for mowing grass, grain, or other crops and composed of a long curving blade fastened at an angle to a long handle


scythed; scything

Definition of scythe (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to use a scythe

transitive verb

: to cut with or as if with a scythe scything cornstalks

Illustration of scythe

Illustration of scythe


In the meaning defined above

Examples of scythe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Or else the bud’s cut short when, as the Slovenes say, the lady with the scythe comes to visit. Lisa Wells, Harper's magazine, "Nightmares at 20,000 Feet," 10 Apr. 2019 Medicaid needs to protect against such fraud, but Oregon officials should not swing a scythe where a scalpel will suffice. Sally Satel And, WSJ, "Oregon Overshoots on Opioids," 16 Aug. 2018 The 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is completely awesome, a 755-hp racetrack-slaying scythe of a car. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Five Very Important Questions About the 2019 Corvette ZR1," 6 Dec. 2018 The steel brushes are in the basement, behind the work bench, under Jack’s antique scythe collection. Joyce Wadler, New York Times, "Have a Relaxed Airbnb Visit — but Not Too Relaxed," 7 June 2018 Does that help account for some of the disturbing or wistful images — like the faint slivered moons hovering scythe-like over a grown man’s helmet of a bowler hat? Steven Winn, San Francisco Chronicle, "It’s the (mostly) surreal thing at SFMOMA Magritte exhibition," 9 May 2018 The post-picnic tableau is certainly striking, as is a flashback to Jack's childhood, observing field workers cutting the meadows with scythes. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The House That Jack Built': Film Review | Cannes 2018," 15 May 2018 The fear for investors is that as managers take their scythes through the investment bank again, more front-line bankers and traders will walk away and take revenue with them. Paul J. Davies, WSJ, "Deutsche Bank and Barclays: Trans-Atlantic Drift," 26 Apr. 2018 Beyond the internet, merchants sell them from behind counters at spiritual shops called botanicas, filled with herbs, incense, candles, oils, and scythe-wielding statues of Santa Muerte, the goddess of death. National Geographic, "Inside the Black Market Hummingbird Love Charm Trade," 18 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Ribery, who has spent a decade at Bayern, rolled back the years by scything through Leverkusen's defence and slamming home Bayern's superb second goal. Afp,, "Bundesliga Recap: Bayern win in Leverkusen, extend lead to 14," 12 Jan. 2018 Having been put through on goal in first-half stoppage time, Sane was scythed down by Cardiff midfielder Joe Bennett, who was fortunate to receive just a yellow card. USA TODAY, "Quadruple still on for City after FA Cup win at Cardiff," 28 Jan. 2018 The game began in untidy fashion, youngster Ampadu scything through Defoe a couple of minutes into the contest, earning himself an early yellow card., "Chelsea 2-1 Bournemouth: Dramatic Finale Sees Blues Through to Carabao Cup Semi-Finals," 20 Dec. 2017 Maksimovic got the ball but scythed down Murphy in the process, and the referee showed a straight red card. USA TODAY, "Kolarov puts Serbia on verge of qualifying for World Cup," 5 Sep. 2017 His departure relieves him from having to scythe his way to increasingly unrealistic targets. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "Akzo Nobel’s Poor Results Increase Chances of a Deal," 25 July 2017 Then screams filled the theater—as moviegoers glimpsed faces and scalps scythed open by shrapnel. Michael Cannell, Smithsonian, "Unmasking the Mad Bomber," 29 Apr. 2017 The ex-Sligo Rovers man suffered a double break of his lower leg after Wales defender Neil Taylor scythed him down in an appalling tackle during a 0-0 clash between the two sides., "Seamus Coleman Hands Everton Huge Injury Boost as Crocked Ace Steps Up Broken Leg Recovery," 11 Aug. 2017 Yet however valid Bourne’s reasons for scything Lippmann and the liberal intellectuals were, there was also something juvenile about his attack. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "Why Liberalism Disappoints," 8 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scythe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of scythe


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1580, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for scythe


Middle English sithe, from Old English sīthe; akin to Old English sagu saw — more at saw

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Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for scythe

The first known use of scythe was before the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of scythe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a farming tool with a curved blade and long handle that is used for cutting grass, grain, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of scythe (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cut (something, such as grass or grain) with a scythe


\ ˈsīt͟h How to pronounce scythe (audio) \

Kids Definition of scythe

: a tool with a curved blade on a long curved handle that is used to mow grass or grain by hand

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More from Merriam-Webster on scythe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scythe

Spanish Central: Translation of scythe

Nglish: Translation of scythe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scythe for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about scythe

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