—swallowable, adj. —swallower, n./swol"oh/, v.t.1. to take into the stomach by drawing through the throat and esophagus with a voluntary muscular action, as food, drink, or other substances.2. to take in so as to envelop; withdraw from sight; assimilate or absorb: He was swallowed by the crowd.3. to accept without question or suspicion.4. to accept without opposition; put up with: to swallow an insult.5. to accept for lack of an alternative: Consumers will have to swallow new price hikes.6. to suppress (emotion, a laugh, a sob, etc.) as if by drawing it down one's throat.7. to take back; retract: to swallow one's words.8. to enunciate poorly; mutter: He swallowed his words.v.i.9. to perform the act of swallowing.n.10. the act or an instance of swallowing.11. a quantity swallowed at one time; a mouthful: Take one swallow of brandy.12. capacity for swallowing.13. Also called crown, throat. Naut., Mach. the space in a block, between the groove of the sheave and the shell, through which the rope runs.[bef. 1000; (v.) ME swalwen, var. of swelwen, OE swelgan; c. G schwelgen; akin to ON svelgja; (n.) ME swalwe, swolgh throat, abyss, whirlpool, OE geswelgh (see Y-); akin to MLG swelch, OHG swelgo glutton, ON svelgr whirlpool, devourer]Syn. 1. eat, gulp, drink. 2. engulf, devour. 10. gulp, draught, drink.swallow2/swol"oh/, n.1. any of numerous small, long-winged passerine birds of the family Hirundinidae, noted for their swift, graceful flight and for the extent and regularity of their migrations. Cf. bank swallow, barn swallow, martin.2. any of several unrelated, swallowlike birds, as the chimney swift.[bef. 900; ME swalwe, OE swealwe; c. G Schwalbe, ON svala]
* * *Any of 74 species (family Hirundinidae) of songbirds found nearly worldwide.Swallows are 4–9 in. (10–23 cm) long, with long, pointed, narrow wings; a short bill; small, weak feet; and sometimes a forked tail. The dark upper plumage may have a metallic blue or green sheen. Swallows capture insects on the wing. They nest in tree holes, burrow into sandbank, or plaster mud nests to walls. Some species (e.g., the common swallow, Hirundo rustica) are long-distance migrants; all have a strong homing instinct. The swallows of California's San Juan Capistrano Mission are cliff swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota). See also martin.Common swallow (Hirundo rustica)Stephen DaltonNatural History Photographic Agency/EB Inc.
* * *▪ birdany of the 74 species of the bird family Hirundinidae (order Passeriformes). A few, including the bank swallow, are called martins (martin) (see martin; see also woodswallow; for sea swallow, see tern). Swallows are small, with pointed narrow wings, short bills, and small weak feet; some species have forked tails. Plumage may be plain or marked with metallic blue or green; the sexes look alike in most species.Swallows spend much time in the air, capturing insects; they are among the most agile of passerine birds. For nesting, swallows may use a hole or cranny in a tree, burrow into a sandbank, or plaster mud onto a wall or ledge to house three to seven white, sometimes speckled, eggs.Swallows occur worldwide except in the coldest regions and remotest islands. Temperate-zone species include long-distance migrants. The common swallow (Hirundo rustica; see photograph—>) is almost worldwide in migration; an American species, called barn swallow, may summer in Canada and winter in Argentina. The 10 species of Petrochelidon, which make flask-shaped mud nests, include the cliff swallow (P. pyrrhonota), the bird of San Juan Capistrano Mission, in California; as with other swallows, it has strong homing instincts.
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