Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun A yawning gulf; an abyss; a whirlpool.
  • noun A deep hollow in the ground; a pit.
  • noun The space in a block between the groove of the sheave and the shell, through which the rope reeves.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The act of swallowing.
  • noun That which is swallowed; as much as is swallowed at once; a mouthful.
  • noun Taste; relish; liking; inclination: as, “I have no swallow for it,”
  • noun A swallower; a fish that inflates itself by swallowing air; a puffer or swell-fish.
  • noun 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. ; ; ;
  • noun Some bird likened to or mistaken for a swallow.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The stormy petrel. Also sea-swallow.
  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To perform the act of swallowing.
  • transitive verb To take into the stomach; to receive through the gullet, or esophagus, into the stomach.
  • transitive verb To draw into an abyss or gulf; to ingulf; to absorb -- usually followed by up.
  • transitive verb To receive or embrace, as opinions or belief, without examination or scruple; to receive implicitly.
  • transitive verb To engross; to appropriate; -- usually with up.
  • transitive verb To occupy; to take up; to employ.
  • transitive verb To seize and waste; to exhaust; to consume.
  • transitive verb To retract; to recant.
  • transitive verb To put up with; to bear patiently or without retaliation.
  • noun (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.
  • noun (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.
  • noun (Naut.) The aperture in a block through which the rope reeves.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any one of several species of fork-tailed ploverlike birds of the genus Glareola, as G. orientalis of India; a pratincole.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any one of several species of East Indian and Asiatic birds of the family Artamiidæ, allied to the shrikes but similar to swallows in appearance and habits. The ashy swallow shrike (Artamus fuscus) is common in India.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any one of numerous species of East Indian and Australian singing birds of the genus Dicæum. They are allied to the honeysuckers.
  • noun The act of swallowing.
  • noun The gullet, or esophagus; the throat.
  • noun colloq. Taste; relish; inclination; liking.
  • noun Capacity for swallowing; voracity.
  • noun As much as is, or can be, swallowed at once.
  • noun obsolete That which ingulfs; a whirlpool.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun 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.
  • noun archaic A deep chasm or abyss in the earth.
  • noun The amount swallowed in one gulp; the act of swallowing.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb enclose or envelop completely, as if by swallowing
  • verb tolerate or accommodate oneself to
  • verb utter indistinctly
  • noun small long-winged songbird noted for swift graceful flight and the regularity of its migrations
  • noun the act of swallowing
  • verb keep from expressing

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English swolowen, swolwen, swolȝen, swelwen, swelȝen, from Old English swelgan ("to swallow, incorporate, absorb, imbibe, devour"), from Proto-Germanic *swelganan (“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 svälja ("to swallow, gulp"), Icelandic svelgja ("to swallow"), Old English swillan, swilian ("to swill, wash out, gargle"). See also swill.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Late Old English swelg ("gulf, chasm"), from Germanic (related to Etymology 1, above).

Examples

  • 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_."

    The Five Jars

  • Mind you the title swallow diluted the fun of the ad-Breakfast would have done.

    swallow

  • The technologist will ask why the barium swallow is being performed and explain the procedure to both you and your child.

    Barium Swallow

  • 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?

    The Volokh Conspiracy » A Better Question

  • A barium swallow is a procedure that primarily evaluates your child's esophagus, which is the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach.

    Barium Swallow

  • 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.

    Amr Hamzawy: Does Egypt Need International Election Observers?

  • 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.

    Amr Hamzawy: Does Egypt Need International Election Observers?

  • 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?

    The Volokh Conspiracy » A Better Question

  • The approach here being that the biggest pill we have to swallow is the concept itself – a town plagued with zombie-like lunatics.

    [REVIEW] The Crazies « Giant Killer Squid - Film, Comics, News, Reviews and more

  • 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.

    Amr Hamzawy: Does Egypt Need International Election Observers?

Comments

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  • The French word for swallow (the bird) is beautiful: hirondelle.

    March 27, 2007

  • What kind of swallow do you mean, African or European?

    March 27, 2007

  • I don't know. I'm not an ornithologist. I just learn French.

    March 27, 2007

  • Awww. You dropped the ball.

    March 27, 2007

  • Am I missing some kind of pop-culture reference? Probably.

    March 28, 2007

  • Monty Python, friend. Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time. ;-)

    March 28, 2007

  • An alarming number of my friends have Monty Python memorized. I have yet to watch it. It sounds boring.

    March 28, 2007

  • It's actually witty and ironic, if a little stupid. If you're a Yank through and through like me, it helps to watch with subtitles because you'll miss a lot with the thick British accents. :-) It's one of those things everybody should watch, at least once.

    March 29, 2007

  • I totally agree with uselessness. Everyone *must* see, at least... Argument clinic.

    September 30, 2007

  • An excellent choice. No it's not.

    September 30, 2007