What does swallow mean?

Definitions for swallow
ˈswɒl oʊswal·low

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word swallow.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. swallow, sup(noun)

    a small amount of liquid food

    "a sup of ale"

  2. swallow, drink, deglutition(noun)

    the act of swallowing

    "one swallow of the liquid was enough"; "he took a drink of his beer and smacked his lips"

  3. swallow(verb)

    small long-winged songbird noted for swift graceful flight and the regularity of its migrations

  4. swallow, get down(verb)

    pass through the esophagus as part of eating or drinking

    "Swallow the raw fish--it won't kill you!"

  5. swallow(verb)

    engulf and destroy

    "The Nazis swallowed the Baltic countries"

  6. immerse, swallow, swallow up, bury, eat up(verb)

    enclose or envelop completely, as if by swallowing

    "The huge waves swallowed the small boat and it sank shortly thereafter"

  7. swallow(verb)

    utter indistinctly

    "She swallowed the last words of her speech"

  8. swallow, take back, unsay, withdraw(verb)

    take back what one has said

    "He swallowed his words"

  9. swallow(verb)

    keep from expressing

    "I swallowed my anger and kept quiet"

  10. accept, live with, swallow(verb)

    tolerate or accommodate oneself to

    "I shall have to accept these unpleasant working conditions"; "I swallowed the insult"; "She has learned to live with her husband's little idiosyncrasies"

  11. swallow(verb)

    believe or accept without questioning or challenge

    "Am I supposed to swallow that story?"


  1. swallow(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.

  2. Origin: Late swelg, from Germanic (related to Etymology 1, above).

Webster Dictionary

  1. Swallow(noun)

    any one of numerous species of passerine birds of the family Hirundinidae, 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

  2. Swallow(noun)

    any one of numerous species of swifts which resemble the true swallows in form and habits, as the common American chimney swallow, or swift

  3. Swallow(noun)

    the aperture in a block through which the rope reeves

  4. Swallow(verb)

    to take into the stomach; to receive through the gullet, or esophagus, into the stomach; as, to swallow food or drink

  5. Swallow(verb)

    to draw into an abyss or gulf; to ingulf; to absorb -- usually followed by up

  6. Swallow(verb)

    to receive or embrace, as opinions or belief, without examination or scruple; to receive implicitly

  7. Swallow(verb)

    to engross; to appropriate; -- usually with up

  8. Swallow(verb)

    to occupy; to take up; to employ

  9. Swallow(verb)

    to seize and waste; to exhaust; to consume

  10. Swallow(verb)

    to retract; to recant; as, to swallow one's opinions

  11. Swallow(verb)

    to put up with; to bear patiently or without retaliation; as, to swallow an affront or insult

  12. Swallow(verb)

    to perform the act of swallowing; as, his cold is so severe he is unable to swallow

  13. Swallow(noun)

    the act of swallowing

  14. Swallow(noun)

    the gullet, or esophagus; the throat

  15. Swallow(noun)

    taste; relish; inclination; liking

  16. Swallow(noun)

    capacity for swallowing; voracity

  17. Swallow(noun)

    as much as is, or can be, swallowed at once; as, a swallow of water

  18. Swallow(noun)

    that which ingulfs; a whirlpool

  19. Origin: [OE. swalowe, AS. swalewe, swealwe; akin to D. zwaluw, OHG. swalawa, G. schwalbe, Icel. & Sw. svala, Dan. svale.]


  1. Swallow

    The swallows and martins are a group of passerine birds in the family Hirundinidae which are characterised by their adaptation to aerial feeding. Swallow is used colloquially in Europe as a synonym for the Barn Swallow. This family comprises two subfamilies: Pseudochelidoninae and Hirundininae. Within the Old World, the name "martin" tends to be used for the squarer-tailed species, and the name "swallow" for the more fork-tailed species; however, there is no scientific distinction between these two groups. Within the New World, "martin" is reserved for members of the genus Progne. The entire family contains around 83 species in 19 genera. The swallows have a cosmopolitan distribution across the world and breed on all the continents except Antarctica. It is believed that this family originated in Africa as hole-nesters; Africa still has the greatest diversity of species. They also occur on a number of oceanic islands. A number of European and North American species are long-distance migrants; by contrast, the West and South African swallows are non-migratory. A few species of swallow and martin are threatened with extinction by human activities, although other species have benefited from human changes to the environment and live around humans.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Swallow

    swol′ō, n. a migratory bird with long wings, which seizes its insect food on the wing: a genus (Hirundo) and family (Hirundinidæ) of passerine birds, with long and pointed wings.—adj. Swall′ow-tailed, like a swallow's tail in form, forked and pointed—of a dress-coat. [A.S. swalewe; Ger. schwalbe.]

  2. Swallow

    swol′ō, v.t. to receive through the gullet into the stomach: to engulf: to absorb: to occupy: to exhaust.—n. Swall′ower. [A.S. swelgan, to swallow; cog. with Ger. schwelgen.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. swallow

    The score of a block.

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'swallow' in Verbs Frequency: #679

How to pronounce swallow?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say swallow in sign language?

  1. swallow


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of swallow in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of swallow in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of swallow in a Sentence

  1. George W. Bush, On TV, about his passing out eating a pretzel:

    Chew before you swallow.

  2. Chief Thomas Jackson:

    It's a really hard pill to swallow.

  3. Aristotle:

    One swallow does not make a summer.

  4. Ray Kapteyn:

    Jungle will swallow up a small airplane.

  5. Karen Fisher:

    Its kind of hard to swallow, a little, for me.

Images & Illustrations of swallow

  1. swallowswallowswallowswallowswallow

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for swallow

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for swallow »


Find a translation for the swallow definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • Chinese - Simplified 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • Chinese - Traditional 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Spanish Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • Japanese 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Portuguese Português (Portuguese)
  • German Deutsch (German)
  • Arabic العربية (Arabic)
  • French Français (French)
  • Russian Русский (Russian)
  • Kannada ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • Korean 한국어 (Korean)
  • Hebrew עברית (Hebrew)
  • Ukrainian Український (Ukrainian)
  • Urdu اردو (Urdu)
  • Hungarian Magyar (Hungarian)
  • Hindi मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesian Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italian Italiano (Italian)
  • Tamil தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Turkish Türkçe (Turkish)
  • Telugu తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • Thai ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Vietnamese Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Czech Čeština (Czech)
  • Polish Polski (Polish)
  • Indonesian Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Romanian Românește (Romanian)
  • Dutch Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Greek Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latin Latinum (Latin)
  • Swedish Svenska (Swedish)
  • Danish Dansk (Danish)
  • Finnish Suomi (Finnish)
  • Persian فارسی (Persian)
  • Yiddish ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • Armenian հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norwegian Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English English (English)

Discuss these swallow definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"swallow." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 7 Dec. 2019. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/swallow>.

Are we missing a good definition for swallow? Don't keep it to yourself...

Free, no signup required:

Add to Chrome

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Free, no signup required:

Add to Firefox

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for swallow:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.