- To swoop is to move or arc downward through the air rapidly, or to come in quickly and seize something, or to carry out an unexpected attack.
- When a bird arcs quickly down from the sky to catch a worm, the downward motion the bird does is an example of a time when the bird swoops.
- When you burst into a room to arrest a drug dealer, this is an example of a time when you swoop into the room.
to snatch or seize suddenly, with a sweeping movement: often with up, off, or away
Origin of swoopMiddle English swopen ; from Old English swapan, to sweep along, rush, akin to German schweifen, Old Norse sveipa: see swift
to descend suddenly and swiftly, as a bird in hunting; pounce or sweep (down or upon)
the act of swooping or pouncing; sudden, violent descent
verbswooped, swoop·ing, swoops
- To move in a sudden sweep: The bird swooped down on its prey.
- To make a rush or an attack with a sudden sweeping movement. Often used with down: The children swooped down on the pile of presents.
To seize or snatch in a sudden sweeping movement.
The act or an instance of swooping.
Origin of swoopMiddle English swopen, to sweep along, from Old English swāpan, to sweep, swing.
(third-person singular simple present swoops, present participle swooping, simple past and past participle swooped) (intransitive)
- (intransitive) to fly or glide downwards suddenly; to plunge (in the air) or nosedive
- The lone eagle swooped down into the lake, snatching its prey, a small fish.
- (intransitive) to move swiftly, as if with a sweeping movement, especially to attack something
- The dog had enthusiastically swooped down on the bone.
- To fall on at once and seize; to catch while on the wing.
- A hawk swoops a chicken.
- To seize; to catch up; to take with a sweep.
- To pass with pomp; to sweep.
- an instance, or the act of suddenly plunging downward
- The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim. – Sun Tzu
- an act of rushedly doing something
- Fortune's a right whore. If she give ought, she deals it in small parcels, that she may take away all at one swoop. – John Webster
- (music) passing quickly from one note to the next