\ ˈswüp How to pronounce swoop (audio) \
swooped; swooping; swoops

Definition of swoop

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to move with a sweep

transitive verb

: to gain or carry off in or as if in a swoop usually used with up



Definition of swoop (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of swooping
2 : a single concentrated and quickly effective effort was done in one swoop often used with fell solved everything at one fell swoop

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Other Words from swoop


swooper noun

Examples of swoop in a Sentence


The police swooped in and captured the criminals.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But the best idea of all might have come in this tweet from a fan who brilliantly dreamed up Ghost, the wolf that Jon Snow abandoned last week, swooping in on a dragon to save the day. Glamour, "This Game of Thrones Theory Suggests Dany's Dragons Are Hiding a Huge Secret," 8 May 2019 Lee had hoped the Hawks could re-sign him, but that became untenable when the Knicks swooped in with their outsize offer. Mike Vorkunov, New York Times, "Humbled in the N.B.A.’s Shadows, Tim Hardaway Jr. Returns to the Spotlight," 5 Feb. 2018 While his peers put a premium on trendy flourishes, swoops, and jagged angles, the common thread running through his acclaimed work is minimalism that packs a punch. Spencer Bailey, Town & Country, "David Adjaye's Message to Architects: Stop Building McMansions," 26 Mar. 2019 As Ally's music stardom rises, a record executive swoops in and revamps her entire image, dyeing her hair and swapping her soulful ballads for generic dance-pop. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "A Star Is Born," 5 Oct. 2018 From mattresses to electronics, every year the brand manages to swoop in with some outrageous deals. Jolie Peters, House Beautiful, "Here's Everything You Can Expect From Amazon's 2018 Black Friday Deals," 4 Oct. 2018 The proof is widespread, with editors and showgoers lifting the unspoken ban on tubs of high-shine formula to create swooping bangs and sculpted center parts during the last leg of fashion month’s odyssey. Vogue, "Hair Product Is Alive and Well on the Streets at Paris Fashion Week," 4 Mar. 2019 Perhaps some plutocrat with dollars to burn and dancing visions of breaking records will swoop in to fund Green and company, and the drive to reach four digits of speed will go on. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Could Someone Save the 1,000-MPH Bloodhound SSC Project?," 11 Dec. 2018 Joe ultimately made Bryan tap, swooping in after Bryan hit his running knee strike on Cass. Justin Barrasso, SI.com, "Week in Wrestling: John Cena on What Made WrestleMania 34 Special, His New Animated Series," 30 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

After all the frustration the show’s slow-playing of Negan and the Saviors created, there’s something liberating about somebody getting rid of a chunk of them in one visceral swoop. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The Walking Dead’s fresh start looks like a big step back," 12 Nov. 2018 The Warriors could gentrify the NBA in one fell swoop, pricing out every would-be superteam in the process with a product that might be literally unbeatable. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "The LeBron James Experiment: Considering NBA Free Agency Scenarios for The King," 27 June 2018 Juventus chief Beppe Marotta has revealed negotiations to sign right back Joao Cancelo paved the way for the club's stunning swoop for Cristiano Ronaldo. SI.com, "Juventus Chief Reveals How Joao Cancelo Signing Triggered Cristiano Ronaldo's Stunning Move," 12 July 2018 Kathryn used a pattern called Safi Suzani Fiesta from her Mexico Meets Morocco collection, which adds color and character in a single swoop. Amanda Sims, House Beautiful, "Kathryn M. Ireland's Kitchen Is A Treasure Trove Of Design Ideas," 22 Jan. 2019 The character in the videogame picks it up by the neck and cuts a slit on its belly in one fell swoop. Zusha Elinson, WSJ, "Put Down the Kombucha and Pick Up a Crossbow: Hipsters Are the New Hunters," 9 Jan. 2019 While radiation would require treating these specific areas, chemotherapy targets them all in one fell swoop via your bloodstream. Korin Miller, SELF, "What Are My Options for Ovarian Cancer Treatment?," 13 Dec. 2018 As their swoops and calls faded behind us, the twin pinnacles of Skellig Michael loomed. Margot Dougherty, WSJ, "In Ireland, a Getaway Far, Far Away," 6 Nov. 2018 Manuel Pellegrini's West Ham were heavily linked with a move for Lukaku, but were priced out as Lazio demanded a €70m fee for a douple swoop involving Lukaku and Felipe Anderson. SI.com, "West Ham Set to Lose Out to Premier League Rivals in Move for Talented Belgian Defender," 7 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'swoop.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of swoop


1566, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for swoop


alteration of Middle English swopen to sweep, from Old English swāpan — more at sweep

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Statistics for swoop

Last Updated

15 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for swoop

The first known use of swoop was in 1566

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More Definitions for swoop



English Language Learners Definition of swoop

: to fly down through the air suddenly
: to arrive at a place suddenly and unexpectedly


\ ˈswüp How to pronounce swoop (audio) \
swooped; swooping

Kids Definition of swoop

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to rush down or pounce suddenly



Kids Definition of swoop (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act or instance of rushing down or pouncing suddenly

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More from Merriam-Webster on swoop

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with swoop

Spanish Central: Translation of swoop

Nglish: Translation of swoop for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of swoop for Arabic Speakers

Comments on swoop

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


a strong desire or propensity

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