Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “swallow”

swallow

verb uk   /ˈswɒl.əʊ/ us    /ˈswɑː.loʊ/

swallow verb (THROAT)

B2 [I or T] to cause food, drink, pills, etc. to move from your mouth into your stomach by using the muscles of your throat: My throat is so sore that it really hurts when I swallow. He put a grape into his mouth and swallowed it whole. [I] to use the muscles of your throat, as if moving something from your mouth into your stomach, because you are nervous or frightened, or are about to say something: He swallowed hard and said, "Dad, I've got something to tell you."

swallow verb (TAKE AWAY)

[T] If something large swallows (up) another thing, it makes it disappear or stop existing separately by making it part of itself: An increasing amount of the countryside is being swallowed (up) by the town. Many small businesses have been swallowed (up) by large companies. [T] to use or take away a large part of something valuable: Taxes have swallowed up nearly half of my pay increase.

swallow verb (ACCEPT)

C2 [T] informal to accept something without question or without expressing disagreement: Not surprisingly, this excuse was too much for them to swallow. He swallowed her story whole. She swallowed his sales pitch hook, line, and sinker (= believed it completely).

swallow verb (NOT EXPRESS)

C2 [T] to not express or show something: She swallowed her disappointment, saying, "That's OK, it doesn't matter."

swallow

noun [C] uk   /ˈswɒl.əʊ/ us    /ˈswɑː.loʊ/

swallow noun [C] (THROAT)

an act of using the muscles of your throat, or the amount of something you move into your stomach from your mouth by using the muscles of your throat: He gave a swallow, then began speaking.

swallow noun [C] (BIRD)

a small bird with pointed wings and a tail with two points, which flies quickly and catches insects to eat as it flies
(Definition of swallow from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of swallow?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Enclosing, surrounding and immersing, but you might be interested in these topics from the Including and excluding topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “swallow” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

yo

used as an informal greeting between people who know each other or as an expression of approval

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

silver splicer noun

November 17, 2014
informal a person who marries in later life Newly retired and now newlywed – rise of the ‘silver splicers’ Reaching pension age becomes a trigger to tie the knot as baby-boomers begin to redefine retirement

Read More