Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: BIRDS

Date: 1500-1600
Origin: swope 'to sweep' (11-19 centuries), from Old English swapan; SWEEP1

swoop

1 verb
     
swoop1 [intransitive]
1HBBTTA if a bird or aircraft swoops, it moves suddenly down through the air, especially in order to attack something:
The eagle hovered, ready to swoop at any moment.
swoop down/over/across etc
A helicopter suddenly swooped down.
2 written if the police, army etc swoop on a place, they go there without any warning in order to look for someone or something
swoop on
Drug officers swooped on several addresses in London last night.
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