\ 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 His grandfather had cut hay by hand, using a scythe, and had driven a plow pulled by a team of horses. Eula Biss, The New Yorker, 8 June 2022 The only thing that could be simpler would be me out there swinging a scythe back and forth — or releasing a herd of sheep to crop at the blades of grass. John Kelly, Washington Post, 3 July 2022 Do not pick up the scythe even as Eris is yelling at you to do so. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 22 June 2022 Saul passes through its streets in a black cowl and a mask, looking like a scythe-less Grim Reaper. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 6 June 2022 In the opening pages of the novel, a new virus has leaped from dogs to human beings and is dragging its scythe around the globe. Washington Post, 10 May 2022 Uhlfelder, a lawyer from Santa Rosa Beach, gained notoriety early in the COVID-19 pandemic by dressing as the Grim Reaper, complete with a black robe and scythe, on crowded beaches and at other public areas. Steven Lemongello,, 8 Mar. 2022 In Tatarstan and Turkestan, Circassia and Chechnya, Kamchatka and Kazakhstan, Moscow cut an imperial scythe, brutalizing entire peoples in the process, and claiming their lands as Russia’s alone. Casey Michel, The New Republic, 22 Feb. 2022 And Clay Bennett of the Chattanooga Times Free Press drew the Grim Reaper receiving the gift of a new scythe for the holidays. Washington Post, 1 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Their manual shifters scythe through the gates without resistance, and their dual-clutch automatics are lightning quick yet also flawlessly behaved around town. Rich Ceppos, Car and Driver, 17 Nov. 2021 Larger-voltage mowers can even scythe through 8,000 to 10,000 square feet. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, 14 Oct. 2021 Jones is as formidable as ever, and Vincent D’Onofrio gives a sombre and riveting portrayal of Jerry Falwell, the Baptist Savonarola, who doesn’t hesitate to scythe down the Bakkers for their sins. Anthony Lan, The New Yorker, 17 Sep. 2021 Many live in crowded, unsanitary camps, creating fears COVID-19 could scythe through a vulnerable population. Reuters, CNN, 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, 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..., 14 Sep. 2019 The virus is scything through its aged population and its hospitals are straining from a rush of patients. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 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, 18 Mar. 2020 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

25 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Scythe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for 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


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