\ ˈswüp \
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

Who built our dream city with shiny, swooping public transportation, a walkable core, and skyscrapers made of brick, concrete and vibranium? Mark Lamster, Curbed, "2018 in architecture: The good, the bad, and the urbanism," 27 Dec. 2018 Last week, a runner at Atwater Beach in Shorewood reported that a red-winged blackbird had swooped at him and made contact with his head. Anna Groves, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Angry birds: Watch out for red-winged blackbird attacks this time of year," 29 June 2018 Because the Trump administration is not defending the Affordable Care Act in this case, a group of pro-Obamacare attorneys general from 16 states and the District of Columbia swooped in to take over the case. Sarah Kliff, Vox, "Federal court rules Obamacare unconstitutional — but the law stands for now," 15 Dec. 2018 After the singer posted a bunch of Legally Blonde–inspired teasers on social media, Reese Witherspoon—yes, Elle Woods herself—swooped in to give Grande her (probably well-perfumed) stamp of approval. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Reese Witherspoon Responded to Ariana Grande's Legally Blonde Post in the Most Elle Woods Way," 21 Nov. 2018 Liverpool will take a break from their hectic transfer business over the course of the World Cup, but as soon as Shaqiri is freed from international duty Jurgen Klopp will swoop for his target. SI.com, "Liverpool Set to Make Their Move for Xherdan Shaqiri Once Swiss Star Returns From the World Cup," 12 June 2018 The young royal took a tumble up on the Buckingham Palace balcony, but fortunately, Duchess Kate immediately swooped in to comfort her. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Princess Charlotte Took a Tumble at Trooping the Colour," 9 June 2018 Paul will swoop underneath to draw a cheap foul and move one step closer to the bonus. Dan Woike, latimes.com, "Former Clipper Chris Paul's plan has so far worked out in Houston," 14 May 2018 Thanks to the chronic lack of short term memory that afflicts so many Riverdale residents, Veronica is almost won over by Hiram swooping in to save the day at her speakeasy. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Betty's In Serious Trouble on This Week's Riverdale," 6 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Votes cannot undo immigration policy in one fell swoop, but votes can elect a new Congress with the oversight to uncover and establish the truth. Marie Claire, "Why Your Vote Is More Important This Year Than Ever Before," 16 Oct. 2018 So just like that, Blake both failed and owned Instagram in one fell swoop, which should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been following her charming social media misadventures. Dan Barna, Teen Vogue, "Blake Lively Responds to Hater on Instagram With Hilarious Comment," 17 Aug. 2018 The midfielder had previously been linked with the likes of Arsenal and Napoli but neither side have shown enough interest allowing Dortmund swoop in. SI.com, "Borussia Dortmund Officials Meet With Torreira Agent," 8 June 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

6 Feb 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 \
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

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irregularly rounded

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