An example of a swath is the trail left in a lawn after using a mower.
- the space or width covered with one cut of a scythe or other mowing device
- Rare a stroke with a scythe
- a line or row of grass, wheat, etc. cut in one course by a scythe, mower, etc.
- a long strip, streak, or zone of any kind: a red scarf providing a swath of color
Origin of swathMiddle English swathe from Old English swathu, a track, akin to German schwade, space covered by a scythe swing: for Indo-European base see swathe
cut a wide swath
- a. The width of a scythe stroke or a mowing-machine blade.b. A path of this width made in mowing.c. The mown grass or grain lying on such a path.
- Something likened to a swath, especially a strip, path, or extension: “the motor humming as a girl on skis cut a swath back and forth across the water” ( Sarah Dessen )
- A great stir, impression, or display: “a man who rose from humble beginnings to cut a wide swath in the world” ( Garrison Keillor )
Origin of swathMiddle English swathe from Old English swæth track
To be distinguished from main meanings of swathe, but that is also an alternative spelling for this word.
From Old English swÃ¦Ã¾, swathu (“track, trace, scar").
Corresponds to Middle Low German and Middle Dutch swat, Middle High German and MNG swade, NDu swad(e), Old Frisian swethe (“border"). Root meaning: trace of a cut.
Attested in English since 888 in its obsolete meaning of track or trace, since 1475 in its more modern usage. Cognate with German Schwaden (“row of mown grass or grain").
No definite cognates outside Germanic languages.