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

Illustration of scythe

Illustration of scythe


2 of 2


scythed; scything

intransitive verb

: to use a scythe

transitive verb

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

Examples of scythe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Transylvania, Romania’s largest and most famous region, is a place where blacksmiths still mold metal, shepherds live alone with their flocks, and hay is cut with scythes. Kate Eshelby, Travel + Leisure, 16 Sep. 2023 In the video, the rapper dances with both the devil and a Grim Reaper-esque Death figure, who wields a scythe. Mitchell Peters, Billboard, 26 Aug. 2023 As seen the photo, the scythe’s handle slides down the back of her neck while the pointy blade wraps around her ear. Mitchell Peters, Billboard, 26 Aug. 2023 The 27-year-old rapper took to her Instagram Story on Saturday (Aug. 26) to show off a fresh tattoo of a scythe on the side of her head. Mitchell Peters, Billboard, 26 Aug. 2023 The current one is blue (the same blue as the US flag) and emblazoned with the state’s seal, a pine tree flanked by a farmer leaning on a scythe and a mariner leaning on an anchor. Kevin Cullen,, 23 July 2023 And all the while, a light show scythes through the nimbus of fragrant blue cigar smoke hanging above partygoers’ heads. Nicholas Foulkes, Robb Report, 15 Apr. 2023 In The Race Track (Death on a Pale Horse), inspired by a waiter who killed himself after making a bad wager, a skeletal figure armed with a scythe rides a pale horse, while a menacing snake monitors his progress. Christopher Benfey, The New York Review of Books, 7 Oct. 2021 Uhlfelder, who gained notoriety in the early days of the pandemic by dressing as Death complete with a black robe and scythe on crowded beaches and other public areas, sued DeSantis in March to try to force the state to close beaches and impose a statewide shutdown. Steven Lemongello,, 11 Dec. 2020
It’s farmed using traditional methods — scythed by hand and visited each autumn by Shropshire sheep. Sarah Lyall, New York Times, 20 Apr. 2023 One fun way to encourage kids to get out into the heart of a meadow area and witness its wildlife and plants up close is to mow or scythe a maze into it that kids can run or walk through. Elizabeth Waddington, Treehugger, 27 Mar. 2023 The hydrofoils position the boat above the majority of waves, and the carbon stilts are slim enough to scythe through the water like tiny dolphins. WIRED, 14 Mar. 2023 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 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'scythe.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1580, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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

Dictionary Entries Near scythe

Cite this Entry

“Scythe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a tool that has a curved blade on a long curved handle and is used for mowing grass or grain by hand

More from Merriam-Webster on scythe

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