swid·​den ˈswi-dᵊn How to pronounce swidden (audio)
often attributive
: a temporary agricultural plot formed by cutting back and burning off vegetative cover

Examples of swidden in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Other examples of fire used as a form land management include Indigenous Australians' work regenerating grasslands, efforts to create fertile soil in the Amazon and swidden agriculture in Thailand. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 May 2021 Consequently, carbon storage under swidden-fallow systems is greater both above and below the ground. National Geographic, 8 Mar. 2016

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

Word History


English dialect, burned clearing, probably from Old Norse svithinn, past participle of svitha to burn, singe

First Known Use

circa 1868, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of swidden was circa 1868

Dictionary Entries Near swidden

Cite this Entry

“Swidden.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swidden. Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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