(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.