Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word


 - definition

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb British English pronunciation: swathe /sweɪð/ 
Word Forms
present tense
present participleswathing
past tenseswathed
past participleswathed

phrasal verb

swathe in

[transitive] literary
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theyswathe in
he/she/itswathes in
present participleswathing in
past tenseswathed in
past participleswathed in
swathe someone/something in something to completely cover someone or something with something

She opened the door, swathed in a long white bathrobe.

The moon was swathed in mist.

hostile architecture

the design of buildings or public spaces in a way which discourages people from touching, climbing or sitting on them …

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

boots on the ground

a situation in which a country's armed forces are physically present in an area of conflict …

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog