from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Fine metallic filings or shavings removed by a cutting tool.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. the waste chips or shavings from metalworking or a saw cutting wood
- n. the grit worn away by use of a grindstone or whetstone, being particles of the material being cut and of the cutting stone itself
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- intransitive v. To grow languid; to faint.
- n. The grit worn away from grindstones in grinding cutlery wet.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To faint; swoon.
- n. Stupor; a fainting-fit; a swoon.
- n. The grit mixed with particles of iron or steel worn away in grinding cutlery wet.
Of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse svarf.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
1565, from Middle English *swerf, from Old English geswearf, gesweorf; akin to Old English sweorfan (modern English swerve), from Proto-Germanic. (Wiktionary)