Skip to main content
Select Source:

swift

swift, common name for small, swallowlike birds related to the hummingbird and found all over the world, chiefly in the tropics. They range in size from 6 to 12 in. (15–30 cm) in length. Swifts have long wings and small feet and can perch only on vertical surfaces. They scoop up insects in their wide mouths while on the wing. Swifts are the most rapid fliers known among living creatures. In the United States the common eastern species is the chimney swift, Chaetura pelagica, miscalled chimney swallow. Its spiny tail acts as a prop when it clings to the chimneys in which it builds its nest of twigs, cemented with saliva. In the W United States are the black, Vaux's, and white-throated swifts. Some Asian swifts make their entire nest of a salivary secretion; these are the nests that are used to make bird's-nest soup. The common European swift is sometimes called hawk swallow. Other species include the brown-throated spinetail swift (C. gigantea) of India and the Philippines; the scissor-tailed swift (Panyptila sancti-Hieronymi) of Guatemala; the white-rumped swift (Apus caffer) of Africa; and the palm swift (Cypsiurus parvus) of SE Asia. True swifts vary greatly in their nesting habits, some being cliff breeders, some using palm leaves for building their nests, and others nesting in chimneys. Found in a separate family of the same order are the crested swifts, which are restricted to SE Asia. These birds roost in trees and inhabit the open woodlands. They feed on insects, caught on the wing. Crested swifts build tiny nests, about the size of a silver dollar, on tree branches. They deposit a single gray-blue egg, which is glued to the center of the nest. Swifts are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Apodiformes, families Apodidae (swifts) and Hemiprocnidae (crested swifts).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"swift." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"swift." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/swift

"swift." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved February 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/swift

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

swift

swift / swift/ • adj. happening quickly or promptly: a remarkably swift recovery. ∎  moving or capable of moving at high speed: the water was very swift the swiftest horse in his stable. • adv. poetic/lit.except in combination swiftly: streams that ran swift and clear a swift-acting poison. • n. 1. a swift-flying insectivorous bird with long slender wings and a superficial resemblance to a swallow, spending most of its life on the wing. • Family Apodidae: several genera and numerous species, including the common Eurasian swift (Apus apus). 2. (also swift moth) a moth, typically yellow-brown in color, with fast darting flight. The eggs are scattered in flight and the larvae live underground feeding on roots, where they can be a serious pest. • Family Hepialidae: Hepialus and other genera. 3. a light, adjustable reel for holding a skein of silk or wool. DERIVATIVES: swift·ly adv. swift·ness n.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"swift." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"swift." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/swift-1

"swift." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved February 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/swift-1

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

swift

swift Any of several species of fast-flying, widely distributed birds. They have hooked bills, wide mouths, long narrow wings, and darkish plumage. They typically feed on insects, which they catch in flight, and build nests of plant matter held together with saliva. Length: to 23cm (9in). Family Apodidae.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"swift." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"swift." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/swift

"swift." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved February 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/swift

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

swift

swift moving far in a short time, taking place at high speed. OE., f. base of swīfan move in a course, sweep = ON. svīfa.
Hence swift sb. (dial.) applied to various swiftly-moving reptiles XVI; bird of the family Apodidae XVII.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"swift." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"swift." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/swift-2

"swift." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved February 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/swift-2

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

SWIFT

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"SWIFT." A Dictionary of Computing. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"SWIFT." A Dictionary of Computing. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/computing/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/swift

"SWIFT." A Dictionary of Computing. . Retrieved February 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/computing/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/swift

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

swifts

swifts See APODIDAE; APODIFORMES.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"swifts." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"swifts." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/swifts

"swifts." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Retrieved February 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/swifts

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

swift

swift •Taft •abaft, aft, craft, daft, draft, draught, engraft, graft, haft, kraft, raft, shaft, understaffed, unstaffed, waft •backdraft • handcraft • aircraft •stagecraft • spacecraft • statecraft •needlecraft • priestcraft • witchcraft •kingcraft • handicraft • woodcraft •Wollstonecraft • bushcraft •watercraft • hovercraft • crankshaft •camshaft • layshaft • driveshaft •turboshaft • countershaft •bereft, cleft, deft, eft, heft, klepht, left, reft, theft, weft •adrift, drift, gift, grift, lift, rift, shift, shrift, sift, squiffed, swift, thrift, uplift •airlift, chairlift, stairlift •facelift • skilift • shoplift • Festschrift •spendthrift • spindrift • snowdrift •makeshift • downshift • upshift •aloft, croft, loft, oft, soft, toft •hayloft • Ashcroft • Cockcroft •undercroft • Lowestoft •tuft, unstuffed •Delft

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"swift." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"swift." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/swift-0

"swift." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved February 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/swift-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

SWIFT

SWIFT (swɪft) Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Transmission

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"SWIFT." The Oxford Dictionary of Abbreviations. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"SWIFT." The Oxford Dictionary of Abbreviations. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/swift

"SWIFT." The Oxford Dictionary of Abbreviations. . Retrieved February 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/swift

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.