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

  • intransitive v. To move in a sudden sweep: The bird swooped down on its prey.
  • intransitive v. To make a rush or an attack with or as if with a sudden sweeping movement. Often used with down: The children swooped down on the pile of presents.
  • transitive v. To seize or snatch in or as if in a sudden sweeping movement.
  • n. The act or an instance of swooping.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

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


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").


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