- to wrap (a newborn baby) in swaddling clothes, a blanket, etc., as to calm it
- to bind in or as in bandages; swathe
Origin of swaddleMiddle English swathlen, probably altered (infl. by swathen, to swathe) ; from swethlen ; from Old English swethel, swaddling band, akin to swathian, to swathe
Origin of swaddleME swathil < OE swethel: see swaddlethe
transitive verbswad·dled, swad·dling, swad·dles
- To wrap, as in cloth: He stood on the sidewalk, swaddled in a blanket.
- To wrap (a baby) in swaddling clothes.
- To wrap or bind in bandages; swathe.
Origin of swaddleMiddle English swadlen, probably back-formation from swadling (band), swaddling (cloth), or swathelbonde, both from *swathelen, probably frequentative of Old English swathian, to swathe.
(third-person singular simple present swaddles, present participle swaddling, simple past and past participle swaddled)
- Anything used to swaddle with, such as a cloth or band.
swathe (“to wrap with fabric") +"Ž -le (frequentative), the word then underwent th-stopping (its voiced th became a d).