from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To burn slowly.
- v. To melt and run down, as the tallow of a candle; waste away without fedding the flame.
- v. To singe; scorch; dress (as a hog) with burning or singeing.
- v. To consume with fire; burn.
- v. To make disappear; cause to waste away; diminish; reduce.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- intransitive v. To melt and run down, as the tallow of a candle; to waste away without feeding the flame.
- transitive v. To singe; to scorch; to swale.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To burn slowly.
- To melt and run down, as the tallow of a candle; waste away without feeding the flame.
- To singe; scorch; dress, as a hog, by burning or singeing.
- An obsolete variant of squeal.
From Middle English swelen, from Old English swelan ("to burn, be burnt up, inflame", st vb) (compare Old English swǣlan ("to burn", wk vb)), from Proto-Germanic *swelanan (“to smoulder, burn slowly, cool”), from Proto-Indo-European *swel- (“to shine, warm”). Cognate with Dutch zwelen ("to smoulder"), Low German swelen ("to smoulder"), German schwelen ("to smoulder"), Icelandic svala ("to cool"). Related to swelter. (Wiktionary)