\ ˈswäth , ˈswȯth\
variants: or swathe \ ˈswät͟h , ˈswȯt͟h , ˈswāt͟h \

Definition of swath

1a : a row of cut grain or grass left by a scythe or mowing machine
b : the sweep of a scythe or a machine in mowing or the path cut in one course
2 : a long broad strip or belt
3 : a stroke of or as if of a scythe
4 : a space devastated as if by a scythe

Examples of swath in a Sentence

An aerial view of the countryside shows wide swathes of green. He cut a swath through the field with his scythe.

Recent Examples on the Web

His combative anti-immigration rhetoric and down-to-earth persona on social media have tapped anger at Italy’s aloof, ineffectual political establishment in swaths of Italian society. Giovanni Legorano, WSJ, "Italy’s Far-Right Firebrand Takes Aim at Europe," 13 Feb. 2019 Take either several short bunches of string lights or a few extra-long ones and arrange them in large swaths around and under unlit logs. Ann Lien, House Beautiful, "Hanging Christmas Lights In Your Fireplace Is The Life Hack You Didn't Know You Needed," 17 Dec. 2018 These sanctions harshly punish key sectors of the Iranian economy, including energy and shipping, and thus could inflict serious hardship in a broad swath of Iranian citizens (not just the leadership). Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The strange Trump Game of Thrones tweet about Iran sanctions, as explained by political science (seriously).," 2 Nov. 2018 Investigators had urged residents in a sizable swath of Perry Hall to stay hunkered down inside their homes and lock all doors and windows as officers search the community fringed with woodlands. Benjamin Brown, Fox News, "Suspects in killing of Baltimore County police officer arrested, eyed in burglaries in area," 2 Oct. 2018 Photo by Heidis Bridge Maximalist interior design comes in many guises, be it in swaths of bold color, vibrant layers of pattern, or from sumptuous, varied textures and materials. Samantha Weiss Hills, Curbed, "9 maximalist interiors that get the style right," 4 Sep. 2018 Mexico’s army patrols cities in wide swaths of the country, its navy busts down doors on raids against drug cartel bosses. Joshua Partlow, Washington Post, "Mexico’s presidential front-runner, AMLO, doesn’t want to escalate the drug war," 30 June 2018 So Roe moved Zook, a Vietnam-era Navy veteran, into a VA home an hour away in a rural, wooded swath of Tuskegee. BostonGlobe.com, "Secret VA nursing-home ratings hid poor quality care from public," 18 June 2018 Later this year, hotly contested Senate races in a swath of farm states — Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Indiana and North Dakota — will determine whether Republicans can maintain their majority in the Senate. James B. Stewart, New York Times, "Why Trump Might Cave to China: Iowa Soybean Farmers," 7 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'swath.' 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 swath

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for swath

Middle English, from Old English swæth footstep, trace; akin to Middle High German swade swath

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about swath

Dictionary Entries near swath








Statistics for swath

Last Updated

17 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for swath

The first known use of swath was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for swath



English Language Learners Definition of swath

: a long, wide strip of land
: an area of grass or grain that has been cut or mowed


\ ˈswäth \
variants: or swathe \ ˈswät͟h \
plural swaths or swathes

Kids Definition of swath

1 : an area of grass or grain that has been cut or mowed
2 : a long broad strip or belt

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on swath

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with swath

Spanish Central: Translation of swath

Nglish: Translation of swath for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of swath for Arabic Speakers

Comments on swath

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


esteemed in general opinion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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