American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To cause (food or drink, for example) to pass through the mouth and throat into the stomach.
- v. To put up with (something unpleasant): swallowed the insults and kept on working.
- v. To refrain from expressing; suppress: swallow one's feelings.
- v. To consume or destroy as if by ingestion; devour: a building that was swallowed up by fire.
- v. Slang To believe without question: swallowed the alibi.
- v. To take back; retract: swallow one's words.
- v. To say inarticulately; mumble: The actor swallowed his lines.
- v. To perform the act of swallowing.
- n. The act of swallowing.
- n. An amount swallowed.
- n. Nautical The channel through which a rope runs in a block or a mooring chock.
- n. 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 and noted for their regular migrations in large numbers, often over long distances.
- n. Any of various similar birds, such as a swift.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To take into the stomach through the throat, as food or drink; receive through the organs of deglutition; take into the body through the mouth.
- Hence, in figurative use, to draw or take in, in any way; absorb; appropriate; exhaust; consume; engulf: usually followed by up.
- Specifically To take into the mind readily or credulously; receive or embrace, as opinions or belief, without examination or scruple; receive implicitly; drink in: sometimes with down.
- To put up with; bear; take patiently: as, to swallow an affront.
- To retract; recant.
- = Syn. 1–3. Engross, Engulf, etc. See absorb.
- To perform the act of swallowing: accomplish deglutition.
- n. The cavity of the throat and gullet, or passage through which food and drink pass; the fauces, pharynx, and gullet or esophagus leading from the mouth to the stomach; especially, the organs of deglutition collectively.
- n. A yawning gulf; an abyss; a whirlpool.
- n. A deep hollow in the ground; a pit.
- n. The space in a block between the groove of the sheave and the shell, through which the rope reeves.
- n. A funnel-shaped cavity occurring not uncommonly in limestone regions, and especially in the chalk districts of France and England. Also called swallow-hole or sinkhole. See sink-hole.
- n. The act of swallowing.
- n. That which is swallowed; as much as is swallowed at once; a mouthful.
- n. Taste; relish; liking; inclination: as, “I have no swallow for it,”
- n. A swallower; a fish that inflates itself by swallowing air; a puffer or swell-fish.
- n. A fissirostral oscine passerine bird with nine primaries; any member of the family Hirundinidæ, of which there are numerous genera and about 100 species, found in all parts of the world. ; ; . The leading species of swallows are the barn-swallows of the genus Hirundo, with long deeply forked tail having the lateral feathers elongated and linear toward their ends, and with lustrous steel-blue plumage on the upper parts, and more or less rufous plumage below. The common bird of Europe is H. rustica; that of America is H. erythrogastra. They are called
barn-swallowsbecause they usually build their nests of straw and mud on the rafters of barns. The house-swallow or martin of Europe is Chelidon urbica, of a genus not represented in America. The purple martin of North America is a very large swallow, Progne subis or P. purpurea, the male of which is entirely lustrous steel-blue; several similar species of the same genus inhabit other parts of America. The most widely diffused species of the family is the bank-swallow or sand-martin, Clivicola or Cotile riparia, common to both hemispheres, of a mouse-gray and white coloration, without luster, breeding in holes in banks. Cliff-swallows are several species of the genus Petrochelidon, found in various parts of the world. That of the United States is P. lunifrons, also called republican swallow, mud-swallow, and eaves-swallow. These build nests almost entirely of pellets of mud stuck together in masses on the sides of cliffs, under eaves, etc. Rough-winged swallows are several forms of the genera Psalidopracne and Stelgidopteryx, as S. serripennis of the United States, having the outer web of the first primary serrate with a series of recurved hooks. It is of dull-grayish coloration, resembling the bank-swallow. The white-bellied swallow of the United States is Tachycineta or Iridoproene bicolor, of a lustrous greenish-black above and snowy-white below. A still more beautiful related species is the violet-green swallow of western North America, Tachycineta thalassina. The Bahaman swallow, Callichelidon cyaneiviridis, is a beautiful swallow resembling the violet-green, with sheeny upper parts and white under parts, belonging to the Bahamas and rarely found in Florida. Swallows are mainly insectivorous birds (though some of them eat berries also), and usually capture their prey on the wing with great address. Their wings are long, pointed, and narrow-bladed, giving great buoyancy, speed, and extension of flight. The feet are small and weak, and scarcely used for progression, but chiefly for perching and clinging. The song is a varied and voluble twittering, but the American martin has a strong, rich, musical note. Swallows are in most countries migratory; and those of Europe and America have long been noted, not only for the extent, but also for the regularity, of their migratory movements. Each species has its regular time of appearing in the spring, which may be predicted with much confidence; it is, however, to some extent dependent upon the weather, or the general advancement or retardation of the opening of the season. In the autumn swallows are often governed in leaving their summer resorts by the approach of storms or cold weather, and they are thus to some extent-weather-prophets. Their modes of nesting are more variable than is usually the case among birds so intimately related in other habits and in structure; and swallows also show, to an extent unequaled by other birds, a readiness to modify their primitive nesting-habits in populous regions. Thus, the nidification of the seven species of swallows which are common in the United States shows four distinct categories: holes in the ground, dug by the birds, slightly furnished with soft materials: bank-swallow, rough-winged swallow
- n. Some bird likened to or mistaken for a swallow. Thus, the swifts, Cypselidæ, belonging to a different order of birds, are commonly miscalled
swallows, as the chimney-swallow of the United States. Chætura pelagica. (See cut under Chætura.) The so-called edible swallows' nests are built by swifts of the genus Collocalia. See Collocalia(with cut) and swift, n., 4.
- n. A breed of domestic pigeons with short legs, squat form, white body, colored wings, and shell-crest. Numerous color-varieties are noted. The birds sometimes called fairies are usually classed as swallows.
- n. The stormy petrel. Also sea-swallow.
- n. archaic A deep chasm or abyss in the earth.
- n. The amount swallowed in one gulp; the act of swallowing.
- n. A small, migratory bird of the Hirundinidae family with long, pointed, moon-shaped wings and a forked tail which feeds on the wing by catching insects.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) Any one of numerous species of passerine birds of the family
Hirundinidæ, especially one of those species in which the tail is deeply forked. They have long, pointed wings, and are noted for the swiftness and gracefulness of their flight.
- n. (Zoöl.) Any one of numerous species of swifts which resemble the true swallows in form and habits, as the common American chimney swallow, or swift.
- n. (Naut.) The aperture in a block through which the rope reeves.
- v. To take into the stomach; to receive through the gullet, or esophagus, into the stomach.
- v. To draw into an abyss or gulf; to ingulf; to absorb -- usually followed by
- v. To receive or embrace, as opinions or belief, without examination or scruple; to receive implicitly.
- v. To engross; to appropriate; -- usually with
- v. To occupy; to take up; to employ.
- v. To seize and waste; to exhaust; to consume.
- v. To retract; to recant.
- v. To put up with; to bear patiently or without retaliation.
- v. To perform the act of swallowing.
- n. The act of swallowing.
- n. The gullet, or esophagus; the throat.
- n. colloq. Taste; relish; inclination; liking.
- n. Capacity for swallowing; voracity.
- n. As much as is, or can be, swallowed at once.
- n. obsolete That which ingulfs; a whirlpool.
- v. enclose or envelop completely, as if by swallowing
- v. tolerate or accommodate oneself to
- v. utter indistinctly
- n. small long-winged songbird noted for swift graceful flight and the regularity of its migrations
- n. the act of swallowing
- v. keep from expressing
- v. take back what one has said
- v. believe or accept without questioning or challenge
- n. a small amount of liquid food
- v. pass through the esophagus as part of eating or drinking
- v. engulf and destroy
- Late Old English swelg ("gulf, chasm"), from Germanic (related to Etymology 1, above). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English swalowen, from Old English swelgan.Middle English swalowe, from Old English swealwe. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The silver lining of the spring made its words much easier to catch when it said anything -- for I should tell you that for the most part now it did not speak, or not in any language that I could understand, but rather sang -- and it now said, "_Swallow swallow, drink, swallow_.”
“Mind you the title swallow diluted the fun of the ad-Breakfast would have done.”
“The approach here being that the biggest pill we have to swallow is the concept itself – a town plagued with zombie-like lunatics.”
“That might be good policy, and the public option might make the mandate a whole lot easier to swallow from a political standpoint, but how can you possibly parse that interpretation out of the Constitution?”
“Equally hard to swallow is the claim that most Egyptian citizens, including those who are close to the opposition, reject international monitoring as an infringement on national sovereignty and an unwanted intervention in domestic affairs.”
“The technologist will ask why the barium swallow is being performed and explain the procedure to both you and your child.”
“A barium swallow is a procedure that primarily evaluates your child's esophagus, which is the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach.”
“What I find harder to swallow is the fact that the guy was elected by our citizens.”
“Harder still to swallow is the numerous information dumps that happen periodically, as a character uncovers some vital element of the story, and turns to recount it to the other characters nearby.”
“Gosh, do these guys squeel when they get a taste of their own medicine (no pun intended), especially when what they're forced to swallow is the truth .. like when you kick over a rock and what's hiding underneath is exposed to sunlight!”
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