swale(redirected from Swales)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
1. A low tract of land, especially when moist or marshy.
2. A long, narrow, usually shallow trough between ridges on a beach, running parallel to the coastline.
3. A shallow troughlike depression that carries water mainly during rainstorms or snow melts.
[Perhaps from Middle English, shade, perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse svalr, cool.]
(Physical Geography) chiefly
a. a moist depression in a tract of land, usually with rank vegetation
b. (as modifier): swell and swale topography.
[C16: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse svala to chill]
n. Chiefly Northeastern U.S.
a low place in a tract of land, usu. producing ranker vegetation than the adjacent higher ground.
[1575–85; perhaps identical with dial. swale shade]