Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To move in a sudden sweep.
  • intransitive verb To make a rush or an attack with a sudden sweeping movement. Often used with down.
  • intransitive verb To seize or snatch in a sudden sweeping movement.
  • noun The act or an instance of swooping.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To move along with a rush; sweep; pass with pomp.
  • To descend upon, or as if upon, prey suddenly from a height, as a hawk; stoop.
  • To fall on at once and seize; dash upon and seize while on the wing: often with up: as, a hawk swoops a chicken; a kite swoops up a mouse.
  • To seize; catch up; take with a sweep.
  • noun The sudden pouncing of a rapacious bird on its prey; a falling on and seizing, as of a bird on its prey; hence, a sudden descent, as of a body of troops; a sweeping movement.

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

  • intransitive verb To descend with closed wings from a height upon prey, as a hawk; to stoop.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To pass with pomp; to sweep.
  • noun A falling on and seizing, as the prey of a rapacious bird; the act of swooping.
  • transitive verb To fall on at once and seize; to catch while on the wing.
  • transitive verb To seize; to catch up; to take with a sweep.

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

  • verb to fly or glide downwards suddenly; to plunge (in the air) or nosedive
  • verb to move swiftly, as if with a sweeping movement, especially to attack something
  • noun an instance, or the act of suddenly plunging downward
  • noun an act of rushedly doing something
  • noun music passing quickly from one note to the next

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

  • noun a swift descent through the air
  • noun a very rapid raid
  • noun (music) rapid sliding up or down the musical scale
  • verb move down on as if in an attack
  • verb seize or catch with a swooping motion
  • verb move with a sweep, or in a swooping arc

Etymologies

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

[Middle English swopen, to sweep along, from Old English swāpan, to sweep, swing.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English swopen, from Old English swāpan ("to sweep").

Examples

  • Bringing together employer and candidate in one fell swoop is pehaps a holy grail, and I’m afraid it will always be so – after all we are talking about people and personalities and god knows they clash much too often.

    Jobs, jobs and more jobs! | FactoryCity

  • MARTIN GONZALEZ, CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE: What we call what we call the swoop and squat.

    CNN Transcript Jun 14, 2006

  • Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner John Yates, who is in charge of counter-terrorism policing nationally, said the swoop was a large-scale, pre-planned and intelligence-led operation involving several forces.

    Reuters: Top News

  • Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner John Yates, who is in charge of counter-terrorism policing nationally, said the swoop was a large-scale, pre-planned and intelligence-led operation involving several forces.

    Reuters: Top News

  • Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner John Yates, who is in charge of counter-terrorism policing nationally, said the swoop was a large-scale, pre-planned and intelligence-led operation involving several forces.

    Reuters: Top News

  • Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner John Yates, who is in charge of counter-terrorism policing nationally, said the swoop was a large-scale, pre-planned and intelligence-led operation involving several forces.

    Reuters: Top News

  • Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner John Yates, who is in charge of counter-terrorism policing nationally, said the swoop was a large-scale, pre-planned and intelligence-led operation involving several forces.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner John Yates, who is in charge of counter-terrorism policing nationally, said the swoop was a large-scale, pre-planned and intelligence-led operation involving several forces.

    Reuters: Top News

  • What is often perceived as drifting can be their final "swoop" into the blocks.

    The nunber two reason hunters walk out of the duck woods empty handed.

  • What is often perceived as drifting can be their final "swoop" into the blocks.

    The nunber two reason hunters walk out of the duck woods empty handed.

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