A woman swallows a glass of water.
- The definition of a swallow is a small insect-eating bird with a forked tail and long, pointed wings.
A small migrating bird of the Hirundinidae family is an example of a swallow.
- Swallow is defined as to cause something to pass down your throat, to accept or believe something, to consume something or cause it to disappear, or to put down an emotion.
- When you let a chewed up piece of food go down your throat, this is an example of a time when you swallow the food.
- When you accept a lie someone tells you, this is an example of a time when you swallow the lie.
- When a large business takes over a small business and the small business is absorbed into the larger one, this is an example of a time when the big business swallows the small one.
- When you put down and refuse to display your anger, this is an example of a time when you swallow your anger.
- any of a family (Hirundinidae) of small, swift-flying, insect-eating passerine birds with long, pointed wings and a forked tail, including the barn swallow and purple martin: most species migrate, often between widely separated summer and winter homes
- any of various birds resembling swallows, as certain swifts
Origin of swallowMiddle English swalwe from Old English swealwe, akin to German schwalbe, Old Norse svala, swallow, and probably Russian solovej, Czech slavík, nightingale
- to pass (food, drink, etc.) from the mouth through the gullet or esophagus into the stomach, usually by a series of muscular actions in the throat
- to take in; absorb; engulf; envelop: often with up
- to take back (words said); retract; withdraw
- to put up with; tolerate; bear humbly: to swallow an insult
- to refrain from expressing; hold back; suppress: to swallow one's pride
- to utter (words) indistinctly
- Informal to accept as true without question; receive gullibly
Origin of swallowMiddle English swolwen from Old English swelgan, akin to German schwelgen from Indo-European base an unverified form swel-, to devour from source swill
- the act of swallowing
- the amount swallowed at one time
- Now Chiefly Brit. the throat or gullet
- Naut. the space between the wheel and the frame of a pulley block, through which a line passes
verbswal·lowed, swal·low·ing, swal·lows
- To cause (food or drink, for example) to pass through the mouth and throat into the stomach.
- To put up with (something unpleasant): swallowed the insults and kept on working.
- To refrain from expressing; suppress: swallow one's feelings.
- To envelop or engulf: a building that was swallowed up by fire.
- To consume or use up: relief money that was swallowed by administrative costs.
- Slang To believe without question: swallowed the alibi.
- To take back; retract: swallow one's words.
- To say inarticulately; mumble: The actor swallowed his lines.
- The act of swallowing.
- An amount swallowed.
- Nautical The channel through which a rope runs in a block or a mooring chock.
Origin of swallowMiddle English swalowen from Old English swelgan ; see swel- in Indo-European roots.
- Any of various small graceful swift-flying passerine birds of the family Hirundinidae, having long pointed wings, a usually notched or forked tail, and a large mouth for catching flying insects.
- Any of various similar birds, such as a swift.
Origin of swallowMiddle English swalowe from Old English swealwe
(third-person singular simple present swallows, present participle swallowing, simple past and past participle swallowed)
- To cause (food, drink etc.) to pass from the mouth into the stomach; to take into the stomach through the throat. [from 11th c.]
- To take (something) in so that it disappears; to consume, absorb. [from 13th c.]
- (intransitive) To take food down into the stomach; to make the muscular contractions of the oesophagus to achieve this, often taken as a sign of nervousness or strong emotion. [from 18th c.]
- My throat was so sore that I was unable to swallow.
- To accept easily or without questions; to believe, accept. [from 16th c.]
- To engross; to appropriate; usually with up.
- To retract; to recant.
- to swallow one's opinions
- To put up with; to bear patiently or without retaliation.
- to swallow an affront or insult
From Middle English swolowen, swolwen, swolÈen, swelwen, swelÈen, from Old English swelgan (“to swallow, incorporate, absorb, imbibe, devour"), from Proto-Germanic *swelganÄ… (“to swallow, revel, devour"), from Proto-Indo-European *swelk- (“to gulp"). Cognate with Dutch zwelgen (“to revel, carouse, guzzle"), German schwelgen (“to delight, indulge"), Swedish svÃ¤lja (“to swallow, gulp"), Icelandic svelgja (“to swallow"), Old English swillan, swilian (“to swill, wash out, gargle"). See also swill.
Late Old English swelg (“gulf, chasm"), from Germanic (related to Etymology 1, above).
Old English swealwe, from Germanic. Cognate with Danish svale, Dutch zwaluw, German Schwalbe, Swedish svala.