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archaic a vision or dream
[Old English swefn; related to Old Norse svefn dream, sleep, Lithuanian sāpnas, Old Slavonic sunu, Latin somnus]


(ˈswɛv ən)

Archaic. a vision; dream.
[before 900; Middle English; Old English swefn, c. Old Saxon sweban, Old Norse svefn sleep, dream, Latin somnus sleep]
References in periodicals archive ?
To be sure, the trope of the interpretation or "reading" of dreams boasts a lengthy literary lineage extending from the Bible to Nick Bottom and beyond, a tradition to which the narrator of the Book of the Duchess alludes in his playful claim that no one can interpret his dream, not even Joseph or Macrobius: "Y trowe no man had the wyt / To konne wel my sweven rede" (278-9).
Swept up in the plot of the ensuing dream, one may forget the narrator's earlier deferred expression of sorrow for Alcyone, especially since he does not revisit that reaction in the concluding portion of the poem's frame, instead only expressing enthusiasm "to put this sweven in ryme" (1332).
Many of the rhyme words also participate in the alliteration, as with space in the first line; but in the next line sweven does not alliterate.