Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To climb by gripping with the arms and legs.
  • intransitive verb To climb (something) in this manner.
  • noun A large number of insects or other small organisms, especially when in motion.
  • noun A group of bees, social wasps, or ants, when migrating with a queen to establish a new colony.
  • noun An aggregation of persons or animals, especially when in turmoil or moving in mass.
  • noun A number of similar geologic phenomena or features occurring closely within a given period or place.
  • intransitive verb To move or emerge in a swarm.
  • intransitive verb To leave a hive as a swarm. Used of bees.
  • intransitive verb To move or gather in large numbers.
  • intransitive verb To be overrun; teem: synonym: teem.
  • intransitive verb To fill with a crowd.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To move in a swarm or in large numbers, as insects and other small creatures; specifically, to collect and depart from a hive by flight in a body, as bees.
  • To appear or come together in a crowd or confused multitude; congregate or throng in multitudes; crowd together with confused movements.
  • To be crowded; be overrun; be thronged with a multitude; abound; be filled with a number or crowd of objects.
  • To breed multitudes.
  • To crowd or throng.
  • To cause to breed in swarms.
  • noun A large number or body of insects or other small creatures, particularly when moving in a confused mass.
  • noun Especially, a cluster or great number of honey-bees which emigrate from a hive at once, and seek new lodgings under the direction of a queen; also, a like body of bees settled permanently in a hive.
  • noun In general, a great number or multitude; particularly, a multitude of people in motion: often used of inanimate objects: as, a swarm of meteors.
  • noun Synonyms Crowd, throng, cluster.
  • To climb a tree, pole, or the like by embracing it with the arms and legs; shin: often with up.
  • To climb, as a tree, by embracing it with the arms and legs, and scrambling up.

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

  • intransitive verb colloq. To climb a tree, pole, or the like, by embracing it with the arms and legs alternately. See shin.
  • intransitive verb To collect, and depart from a hive by flight in a body; -- said of bees.
  • intransitive verb To appear or collect in a crowd; to throng together; to congregate in a multitude.
  • intransitive verb To be crowded; to be thronged with a multitude of beings in motion.
  • intransitive verb To abound; to be filled (with).
  • intransitive verb To breed multitudes.
  • noun A large number or mass of small animals or insects, especially when in motion.
  • noun Especially, a great number of honeybees which emigrate from a hive at once, and seek new lodgings under the direction of a queen; a like body of bees settled permanently in a hive.
  • noun Hence, any great number or multitude, as of people in motion, or sometimes of inanimate objects.
  • transitive verb To crowd or throng.

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

  • noun A large number of insects, especially when in motion or (for bees) migrating to a new colony.
  • noun A mass of people or animals in turmoil.
  • verb intransitive To move as a swarm.
  • verb intransitive To teem, or be overrun with insects.
  • verb transitive To fill a place as a swarm.
  • verb transitive To overwhelm as by an opposing army.
  • verb To climb by gripping with arms and legs.

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

  • verb move in large numbers
  • noun a group of many things in the air or on the ground
  • verb be teeming, be abuzz
  • noun a moving crowd

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Origin unknown.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, group of bees, from Old English swearm.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English swarm, from Old English swearm ("swarm, multitude"), from Proto-Germanic *swarmaz (“swarm, dizziness”), from Proto-Indo-European *swer- (“to buzz, hum”). Cognate with Scots swarm ("swarm"), Dutch zwerm ("swarm"), German Schwarm ("swarm"), Danish sværm ("swarm"), Swedish svärm ("swarm"), Icelandic svarmur ("tumult, swarm"), Latin susurrus ("whispering, humming"), Lithuanian surma ("a pipe"), Russian свирель (svirel', "a pipe, reed").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English swarmen, swermen, from Old English swierman ("to swarm"), from Proto-Germanic *swarmijanan (“to swarm”). Cognate with Scots swairm, swerm ("to swarm"), Dutch zwermen ("to swarm"), German schwärmen ("to swarm"), Danish sværme ("to swarm"), Swedish svärma ("to swarm").

Examples

Comments

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  • "Ernst's fingers were pressed hard on the trigger guard.

    the machine gun went off. The swarm of bullets drew half a heart on the plate-glass window. The window cracked and blew in.

    It splintered into pieces of glass the size of dinner plates. Just then Kasper heard the wind."

    - 'The Quiet Girl', Peter Høeg.

    March 19, 2008