Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A wooden instrument used for beating flax and scraping from it the woody parts. Also swing-knife, swingle-staff, swingling-knife or -staff.
  • noun That part of a flail which falls upon the grain in threshing; a swipple.
  • noun A kind of spoke or lever, like the hand-spike of a capstan, used in turning the barrel in wire-drawing.
  • noun One of the radiating arms by which the roller of a plate-press is turned.
  • To clean, as flax, by beating and scraping with a swingle or swing-knife.
  • To cut off the tops of without pulling up the roots, as weeds.
  • To dangle; wave hanging.
  • To swing for pleasure.

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

  • noun A wooden instrument like a large knife, about two feet long, with one thin edge, used for beating and cleaning flax; a scutcher; -- called also swingling knife, swingling staff, and swingling wand.
  • transitive verb To clean, as flax, by beating it with a swingle, so as to separate the coarse parts and the woody substance from it; to scutch.
  • transitive verb Prov. Eng. To beat off the tops of without pulling up the roots; -- said of weeds.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To dangle; to wave hanging.
  • intransitive verb Obs. or Prov. Eng. To swing for pleasure.

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

  • verb to beat or flog, especially for extracting the fibres from flax stalks; to scutch
  • noun An implement used to separate the fibres of flax by beating them; a scutch

Etymologies

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