swath

noun
\ 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

Check out the coral Huge swaths of Curaçao's coast is undeveloped or untouched entirely by hotels, which means the fringing reef around the island is remarkably healthy compared to other Caribbean nations. Kaitlin Menza, Town & Country, "The Best Things to Do, Eat, and See in Curaçao," 8 Jan. 2019 The style, kept appealingly imperfect with a few loose strands at the front, proved something as easy as grabbing the swath of fabric from a local ribbon shop is an easy way to elevate one’s hair while running out the door to yet another party. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Miley Cyrus Pulls Off the Easiest (and Prettiest!) Holiday Hair Trick Yet," 21 Dec. 2018 Around this time, archaeological records and ancient pollen in lake sediments show that the ancient Maya had started cultivating crops in the region and cutting down swaths of forest to make room for their fields. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Carbon impact of ancient Maya farming may still be felt," 22 Aug. 2018 Whereas the term Manifest Destiny had been coined as a justification for conquering great swaths of the continent at gunpoint, Gilpin transformed it into a more wholesome interpretation that pulled peoples across the nation. Johnforristerross, Longreads, "Taming the Great American Desert," 2 July 2018 Loggers also cut swaths of royal ebony, mahogany, and white oak for export and for coal production. Shanna Baker, Smithsonian, "The Quest to Preserve the Last of Castro’s Crocodiles," 21 June 2018 Congaree National Park, South Carolina Located 30 minutes outside Columbia, South Carolina, Congaree is home to the country’s largest swath of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest. Megan Michelson, Outside Online, "6 Under-the-Radar National Parks You Should Visit," 20 June 2018 And yet, despite all the rapid development around the island’s main hubs to the south, vast swaths of the landscape remain pretty much undisturbed. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Finding the Bali You Came For," 16 Nov. 2018 Libya’s warring factions gathered here to break the impasse with European and American counterparts, though looming over the conference was the role of Khalifa Haftar, a militia general who controls a vast swath of the country’s east. Jared Malsin, WSJ, "With Libya’s Peace Process in Tatters, the West Hits Reset Button," 12 Nov. 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

swat

Swat

swatch

swath

swathboard

swathe

swather

Statistics for swath

Last Updated

3 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

swath

noun

English Language Learners Definition of swath

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

swath

noun
\ 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).

WORD OF THE DAY

the perfect form or example of something

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:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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