\ 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 Thus, ‶Mowing″ is prefaced with the explanation that Frost found the pen and the scythe his favorite tools. David Lyon,, "Three walks with poets through their favorite landscapes," 28 Jan. 2021 Uhlfelder gained notoriety in the early days of the pandemic by dressing as Death, complete with a black robe and scythe, on crowded beaches and at other public areas. Steven Lemongello,, "Florida man donates COVID-19 ‘Grim Reaper’ costume to Miami museum," 28 Dec. 2020 Dressed as a scythe-wielding Grim Reaper, the Walton County attorney toured around the state’s northwest coast in March, offering a dire warning that drew national attention. Washington Post, "Florida’s ‘Grim Reaper’ lawyer sued Ron DeSantis over covid-19. Now the governor’s attorneys want him sanctioned.," 15 Dec. 2020 It’s an eerie-looking thing, a shrine to a dead traveler, with a scythe in one hand and an owl perched on the other. Nate Matthews, Field & Stream, "F&S Classics: Baja By Bike," 7 Dec. 2020 At the bunker, Dean grabs Death's scythe, and he and Cas head to Death's library. Samantha Highfill,, "Supernatural recap: The fight against Billie ends in tragedy," 6 Nov. 2020 This incarnation of Death was not a scythe-wielding Grim Reaper but rather a cute goth girl with a spunky attitude and a pretty ankh symbol. Christian Holub,, "Neil Gaiman, Michael Sheen, G. Willow Wilson discuss the past and future of The Sandman at DC FanDome," 22 Aug. 2020 But the prospect of conservative judges wielding a non-delegation scythe to mow down entire fields of federal regulation is nonetheless distressingly real. Christopher J. Sprigman, The New Republic, "A Constitutional Weapon for Biden to Vanquish Trump’s Army of Judges," 20 Aug. 2020 Rather than spend any more of his life documenting the dying, Sala decided to try to safeguard the living in the few remaining patches of ocean where the Grim Reaper had yet to swing his scythe. National Geographic, "Inside the ambitious push to protect a third of the world’s ocean," 13 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Many live in crowded, unsanitary camps, creating fears COVID-19 could scythe through a vulnerable population. Reuters, CNN, "Doctor's self-funded test lab leads way in Somalia's COVID fight," 6 Nov. 2020 Covid-19 continues to scythe through the halls of long-term care facilities despite an array of safety measures and bans on visitors, put in place months ago to slow the devastation. New York Times, "‘A Slow Killer’: Nursing Home Residents Wither in Isolation Forced by the Virus," 30 Oct. 2020 Things started rather nicely for the Red Devils as Caglar Soyuncu scythed down Rashford in the area, and the England international stepped up to fire home the resulting spot-kick..., "Twitter Reacts as Manchester United Earn Important Victory Over Leicester City," 14 Sep. 2019 The virus is scything through its aged population and its hospitals are straining from a rush of patients. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Italy is a test of how a Western economy bear an almost-total shutdown," 12 Mar. 2020 But its explosive power gives it the muscle of a gas-engine machine for mowing down the tall stuff and scything through weeds and saplings. Roy Berendson, Popular Mechanics, "The Popular Mechanics 2020 Tool Awards," 18 Mar. 2020 Canalys, starting from a similar estimate for 2019, scythes its expectations down to 42.5 million shipments. Fortune, "Apple’s iPhone maker expects its China plants to be operating normally within weeks," 3 Mar. 2020 The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was meant to scythe-down Jim Crow and the evils of racial discrimination. Richard Aldous, WSJ, "‘The Age of Entitlement’ Review: The Dividing Line," 17 Jan. 2020 Prop Moody's marauding run set the tone before Barrett scythed his way through the Welsh defence to dot down under the posts on 13 minutes. Daniel Gallan, CNN, "All Blacks run rampant against Wales to end Rugby World Cup on a high," 1 Nov. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about scythe

Time Traveler for scythe

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for scythe

Cite this Entry

“Scythe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for scythe



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

More from Merriam-Webster on scythe

Nglish: Translation of scythe for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on scythe

What made you want to look up scythe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!