• A Swallow's Nest on the Crank of a Bell-wire
    A Swallow's Nest on the Crank of a Bell-wire
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v swallow believe or accept without questioning or challenge "Am I supposed to swallow that story?"
    • v swallow 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"
    • v swallow keep from expressing "I swallowed my anger and kept quiet"
    • v swallow take back what one has said "He swallowed his words"
    • v swallow utter indistinctly "She swallowed the last words of her speech"
    • v swallow engulf and destroy "The Nazis swallowed the Baltic countries"
    • v swallow pass through the esophagus as part of eating or drinking "Swallow the raw fish--it won't kill you!"
    • v swallow enclose or envelop completely, as if by swallowing "The huge waves swallowed the small boat and it sank shortly thereafter"
    • n swallow the act of swallowing "one swallow of the liquid was enough","he took a drink of his beer and smacked his lips"
    • n swallow small long-winged songbird noted for swift graceful flight and the regularity of its migrations
    • n swallow a small amount of liquid food "a sup of ale"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The swallow brings the note to Lino The swallow brings the note to Lino
Swallowed by the Dog-Fish Swallowed by the Dog-Fish
Duchess thinks she swallowed the tin Duchess thinks she swallowed the tin
The Common Swallow The Common Swallow
barn swallow barn swallow

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In Lefors, Texas it is illegal to take more than three swallows of beer at any time while standing.
    • Swallow (Zoöl) Any one of numerous species of passerine birds of the family Hirundinidæ, 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.
    • Swallow (Zoöl) Any one of numerous species of swifts which resemble the true swallows in form and habits, as the common American chimney swallow, or swift.
    • Swallow As much as is, or can be, swallowed at once; as, a swallow of water.
    • Swallow Capacity for swallowing; voracity. "There being nothing too gross for the swallow of political rancor."
    • Swallow Taste; relish; inclination; liking. "I have no swallow for it."
    • Swallow That which ingulfs; a whirlpool.
    • Swallow The act of swallowing.
    • Swallow (Naut) The aperture in a block through which the rope reeves.
    • Swallow The gullet, or esophagus; the throat.
    • Swallow To draw into an abyss or gulf; to ingulf; to absorb -- usually followed by up. "The earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses."
    • Swallow To engross; to appropriate; -- usually with up. "Homer excels . . . in this, that he swallowed up the honor of those who succeeded him."
    • Swallow To occupy; to take up; to employ. "The necessary provision of the life swallows the greatest part of their time."
    • v. i Swallow To perform the act of swallowing; as, his cold is so severe he is unable to swallow .
    • Swallow To put up with; to bear patiently or without retaliation; as, to swallow an affront or insult.
    • Swallow To receive or embrace, as opinions or belief, without examination or scruple; to receive implicitly. "Though that story . . . be not so readily swallowed ."
    • Swallow To retract; to recant; as, to swallow one's opinions. "Swallowed his vows whole."
    • Swallow To seize and waste; to exhaust; to consume. "Corruption swallowed what the liberal hand
      Of bounty scattered."
    • Swallow To take into the stomach; to receive through the gullet, or esophagus, into the stomach; as, to swallow food or drink. "As if I had swallowed snowballs for pills."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: It takes 25 muscles to swallow.
    • swallow To take into the stomach through the throat, as food or drink; receive through the organs of deglutition; take into the body through the mouth.
    • swallow Hence, in figurative use, to draw or take in, in any way; absorb; appropriate; exhaust; consume; engulf: usually followed by up.
    • swallow Specifically To take into the mind readily or credulously; receive or embrace, as opinions or belief, without examination or scruple; receive implicitly; drink in: sometimes with down.
    • swallow To put up with; bear; take patiently: as, to swallow an affront.
    • swallow To retract; recant.
    • swallow = Syn. 1–3. Engross, Engulf, etc. See absorb.
    • swallow To perform the act of swallowing: accomplish deglutition.
    • n swallow The cavity of the throat and gullet, or passage through which food and drink pass; the fauces, pharynx, and gullet or esophagus leading from the mouth to the stomach; especially, the organs of deglutition collectively.
    • n swallow A yawning gulf; an abyss; a whirlpool.
    • n swallow A deep hollow in the ground; a pit.
    • n swallow The space in a block between the groove of the sheave and the shell, through which the rope reeves.
    • n swallow A funnel-shaped cavity occurring not uncommonly in limestone regions, and especially in the chalk districts of France and England. Also called swallow-hole or sinkhole. See sink-hole.
    • n swallow The act of swallowing.
    • n swallow That which is swallowed; as much as is swallowed at once; a mouthful.
    • n swallow Taste; relish; liking; inclination: as, “I have no swallow for it,”
    • n swallow A swallower; a fish that inflates itself by swallowing air; a puffer or swell-fish.
    • n swallow A fissirostral oscine passerine bird with nine primaries; any member of the family Hirundinidæ, of which there are numerous genera and about 100 species, found in all parts of the world. ; ; . The leading species of swallows are the barn-swallows of the genus Hirundo, with long deeply forked tail having the lateral feathers elongated and linear toward their ends, and with lustrous steel-blue plumage on the upper parts, and more or less rufous plumage below. The common bird of Europe is H. rustica; that of America is H. erythrogastra. They are called barn-swallows because they usually build their nests of straw and mud on the rafters of barns. The house-swallow or martin of Europe is Chelidon urbica, of a genus not represented in America. The purple martin of North America is a very large swallow, Progne subis or P. purpurea, the male of which is entirely lustrous steel-blue; several similar species of the same genus inhabit other parts of America. The most widely diffused species of the family is the bank-swallow or sand-martin, Clivicola or Cotile riparia, common to both hemispheres, of a mouse-gray and white coloration, without luster, breeding in holes in banks. Cliff-swallows are several species of the genus Petrochelidon, found in various parts of the world. That of the United States is P. lunifrons, also called republican swallow, mud-swallow, and eaves-swallow. These build nests almost entirely of pellets of mud stuck together in masses on the sides of cliffs, under eaves, etc. Rough-winged swallows are several forms of the genera Psalidopracne and Stelgidopteryx, as S. serripennis of the United States, having the outer web of the first primary serrate with a series of recurved hooks. It is of dull-grayish coloration, resembling the bank-swallow. The white-bellied swallow of the United States is Tachycineta or Iridoproene bicolor, of a lustrous greenish-black above and snowy-white below. A still more beautiful related species is the violet-green swallow of western North America, Tachycineta thalassina. The Bahaman swallow, Callichelidon cyaneiviridis, is a beautiful swallow resembling the violet-green, with sheeny upper parts and white under parts, belonging to the Bahamas and rarely found in Florida. Swallows are mainly insectivorous birds (though some of them eat berries also), and usually capture their prey on the wing with great address. Their wings are long, pointed, and narrow-bladed, giving great buoyancy, speed, and extension of flight. The feet are small and weak, and scarcely used for progression, but chiefly for perching and clinging. The song is a varied and voluble twittering, but the American martin has a strong, rich, musical note. Swallows are in most countries migratory; and those of Europe and America have long been noted, not only for the extent, but also for the regularity, of their migratory movements. Each species has its regular time of appearing in the spring, which may be predicted with much confidence; it is, however, to some extent dependent upon the weather, or the general advancement or retardation of the opening of the season. In the autumn swallows are often governed in leaving their summer resorts by the approach of storms or cold weather, and they are thus to some extent-weather-prophets. Their modes of nesting are more variable than is usually the case among birds so intimately related in other habits and in structure; and swallows also show, to an extent unequaled by other birds, a readiness to modify their primitive nesting-habits in populous regions. Thus, the nidification of the seven species of swallows which are common in the United States shows four distinct categories: holes in the ground, dug by the birds, slightly furnished with soft materials: bank-swallow, rough-winged swallow
    • n swallow Some bird likened to or mistaken for a swallow. Thus, the swifts, Cypselidæ, belonging to a different order of birds, are commonly miscalled swallows, as the chimney-swallow of the United States. Chætura pelagica. (See cut under Chætura.) The so-called edible swallows' nests are built by swifts of the genus Collocalia. See Collocalia (with cut) and swift, n., 4.
    • n swallow A breed of domestic pigeons with short legs, squat form, white body, colored wings, and shell-crest. Numerous color-varieties are noted. The birds sometimes called fairies are usually classed as swallows.
    • n swallow The stormy petrel. Also sea-swallow.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: People will swallow about 8 spiders in their lifetime
    • n Swallow swol′ō 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
    • v.t Swallow swol′ō to receive through the gullet into the stomach: to engulf: to absorb: to occupy: to exhaust
    • ***


  • John Wesley
    “Beware you be not swallowed up in books! An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge.”
  • William Knudsen
    William Knudsen
    “In business, the competition will bite you if you keep running, if you stand still, they will swallow you.”
  • Plato
    “Must not all things at the last be swallowed up in death?”
  • Josh Billings
    “Flattery is like cologne water, to be smelt, not swallowed.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “If your words are soft and sweet, they won't be as hard to swallow if you have to eat them.”
  • John Arbuthnot
    John Arbuthnot
    “All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies.”


Bitter pill to swallow - A bitter pill to swallow is something that is hard to accept.
One swallow does not make a summer - This means that one good or positive event does not mean that everything is all right.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. swolewen, swolwen, swolhen, AS. swelgan,; akin to D. zwelgen, OHG. swelahan, swelgan, G. schwelgen, to feast, to revel, Icel. svelgia, to swallow, SW. svälja, Dan. svælge,. Cf. Groundsel a plant
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. swelgan, to swallow; cog. with Ger. schwelgen.


In literature:

Permit the animal to swallow slowly.
"The Veterinarian" by Chas. J. Korinek
Nick's chagrin was swallowed by his admiration and envy.
"Gigolo" by Edna Ferber
It began to swallow the water, and drank and drank till it had swallowed all the water in the well.
"Roumanian Fairy Tales" by Various
Small enough to swallow, or to push into the nose.
"The Mother and Her Child" by William S. Sadler
He had a good many insults to swallow.
"The Best Short Stories of 1917" by Various
Bats drink on the wing, like swallows, by sipping the surface as they play over pools and streams.
"The Natural History of Selborne, Vol. 1" by Gilbert White
They had the flight of swallows; indeed, Mr Hooker said they were a species of swallow.
"In the Eastern Seas" by W.H.G. Kingston
Then, worst of all, there's poor Miss Frost, such a patient lady, and she has swallowed insects instead of pills.
"A Modern Tomboy" by L. T. Meade
Many people are totally at a loss to distinguish between a swallow and a swift.
"Birds of the Indian Hills" by Douglas Dewar
And among the broad, green leaves many a swallow had built his nest, and one of these nests belonged to Thumbelina's little swallow.
"Boys and Girls Bookshelf; a Practical Plan of Character Building, Volume I (of 17)" by Various

In poetry:

Were you not w^arned of death,
As the swift swallow
Flies low, being warned of rain,
That you must follow?
"The Brothers" by Ethel Clifford
Swallows, darting, brush
The waves of gentle green,
As though a wide still lake it were,
Not living grass.
"Listening" by John Freeman
I met a mother on the moor,
By a new grave a-praying.
The happy swallows in the blue
Upon the winds were playing.
"On The Moor" by Cale Young Rice
THE swallow leaves her nest,
The soul my weary breast;
But therefore let the rain
On my grave Fall pure; for why complain?
Since both will come again
O'er the wave.
"The Swallow Leaves Her Nest" by Thomas Lovell Beddoes
I bid your wandering footsteps me to follow,
Your thoughts to travel after in my track,
I am the sky that waits you, dear gray swallow,
No wind of mine shall ever blow you back.
"A Marriage Charm" by Nora Jane Hopper Chesson
Mute of thy voice an echo, an echo despairing and
Sound but seemed in thy tones, thou life of music to
Beauty, whose warm sun thou wast, had after thee gone
like a swallow.
"The Black Swallow-Tail Butterfly" by Manmohan Ghose

In news:

Beltway Journalism, "Swallowed by an Hourglass".
The Brutally Honest Piano Man Swallows His Pride.
Ice' Storm : New Doc Shows How Swelling Oceans Threaten to Swallow Manhattan Altogether.
Omaha's one-two punch: It swallows nearby suburbs and then taps new residents for money for downtown cultural institutions.
Blissful love swallows them up until her interest wanes, sending him back to the typewriter.
Children can choke or swallow brightly-colored cleansers.
The Blue Swallow Motel is the perfect photo location for Larry and Meri Finley's restored 1957 Chevrolet.
Swallows swooping at twilight above the spire of the former Benedictine abbey.
The Booz analysts want America's Joe the machinists to swallow ever lower paychecks to help their US corporate employers "keep up with intense competition" from elsewhere in the world.
Since 2009 the CPSC says at least a dozen children, from toddlers to teens, have swallowed the magnets.
How about The Hangover 's Ed Helms swallowing a sword.
Swallow- wort the target of volunteer effort at state park.
Have you seen swallow- wort vine.
There Was a Young Lady Who (Accidentally) Swallowed a Knife.
The crazy beauty trend that's tough to swallow.

In science:

In the case of bond percolation, the stopping time of the exploration may not coincide with the first time the active boundary is swallowed but is lower bounded by the preceding and upper bounded by a geometric number of them.
Percolations on random maps I: half-plane models
As more edges were added, this component gradually swallowed up all of the others, and none of the others ever became complex before they were swallowed.
The birth of the giant component
The relationship is consistent with the second law of thermodynamics and seems natural on the grounds of information swallowed by the hole.
Exotic Black Holes
As mentioned above, some of the Pop IIIs must be swallowed/merged into larger ob jects; the fraction of them that has survived such events can be rather small.
Pop III Objects and their Relationship with Dwarf Galaxies
M⊙ assuming solar values for the cluster star mass and radius) it is clear that the process of b.h. feeding is by mean of tidally disrupted stars until the b.h. mass has grown enough to swallow the surrounding stars whole when entering the event horizon through ∗ >=< v∗ >2 ) the Schwarzschild’s radius.
Galactic nuclear activity induced by globular cluster merging