: a low-lying or depressed and often wet stretch of land
also : a shallow depression on a golf course

Examples of swale in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Add places for water to pool and percolate into your garden’s soil: a dry streambed, swale or simple depression filled with mulch. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Jan. 2024 Improvements to site drainage — Anything that helps water exit property, such as swales or pipes. Ron Hurtibise, Sun Sentinel, 9 Jan. 2024 Rainwater-absorbing swales, buried stormwater retention tanks, and other resiliency features. Curbed, 9 Jan. 2024 The swale can hold about 750 gallons of rainwater — and it was certainly tested last winter. Caron Golden, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Jan. 2024 Added insulation will protect roots from dipping temperatures while retaining moisture and helping control erosion. –Consider digging swales on hillsides and slopes or near newer native plantings. Kristin Guy, Sunset Magazine, 5 Dec. 2023 Low spots where rainwater collects are also opportunities for swales. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Dec. 2023 Explore a white-sand beach and the sinks, swales, and sloughs found within the 2,500-acre Suwannee River Water Management District. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 10 Oct. 2023 There are swales to collect rainwater, a well for potable water, and solar panels to capture enough energy to power the house and sell the excess back to the grid. Christine Lennon, Sunset Magazine, 9 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History


origin unknown

First Known Use

1584, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of swale was in 1584

Dictionary Entries Near swale

Cite this Entry

“Swale.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swale. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

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