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swal·low 1

v. swal·lowed, swal·low·ing, swal·lows
1. To cause (food or drink, for example) to pass through the mouth and throat into the stomach.
2. To put up with (something unpleasant): swallowed the insults and kept on working.
3. To refrain from expressing; suppress: swallow one's feelings.
4. To envelop or engulf: a building that was swallowed up by fire.
5. To consume or use up: relief money that was swallowed by administrative costs.
6. Slang To believe without question: swallowed the alibi.
7. To take back; retract: swallow one's words.
8. To say inarticulately; mumble: The actor swallowed his lines.
To perform the act of swallowing.
1. The act of swallowing.
2. An amount swallowed.
3. Nautical The channel through which a rope runs in a block or a mooring chock.

[Middle English swalowen, from Old English swelgan; see swel- in Indo-European roots.]

swal′low·er n.

swal·low 2

1. Any of various small graceful swift-flying passerine birds of the family Hirundinidae, having long pointed wings, a usually notched or forked tail, and a large mouth for catching flying insects.
2. Any of various similar birds, such as a swift.

[Middle English swalowe, from Old English swealwe.]
References in classic literature ?
but because of all kinds of caters of fish, or flesh, or fowl, in these latitudes, the swallowers of oysters alone are not gregarious; but subduing themselves, as it were, to the nature of what they work in, and copying the coyness of the thing they eat, do sit apart in curtained boxes, and consort by twos, not by two hundreds.
What are these suckers of cigars and swallowers of strong drinks, whose hats and legs we see in every possible variety of twist, doing, but amusing themselves?
In one line by itself was an announcement of the first night of a new melodrama; in another line by itself was an announcement of the last six nights of an old one; a third line was devoted to the re-engagement of the unrivalled African Knife- swallower, who had kindly suffered himself to be prevailed upon to forego his country engagements for one week longer; a fourth line announced that Mr Snittle Timberry, having recovered from his late severe indisposition, would have the honour of appearing that evening; a fifth line said that there were 'Cheers, Tears, and Laughter
After congratulating him with great heartiness on the improved state of his fortunes, Mr Crummles gave him to understand that next morning he and his were to start for Liverpool, where the vessel lay which was to carry them from the shores of England, and that if Nicholas wished to take a last adieu of Mrs Crummles, he must repair with him that night to a farewell supper, given in honour of the family at a neighbouring tavern; at which Mr Snittle Timberry would preside, while the honours of the vice-chair would be sustained by the African Swallower.
The Swallower said the same, and looked and spoke remarkably like an Irishman.
This gentleman sat on the left hand of Nicholas, to whom he was introduced by his friend the African Swallower, from the bottom of the table, with a high eulogium upon his fame and reputation.
This done, Mr Vincent Crummles returned thanks, and that done, the African Swallower proposed Mrs Vincent Crummles, in affecting terms.
But the unthreshed sheaves remaining untouched seemed countless still, notwithstanding the enormous numbers that had been gulped down by the insatiable swallower, fed by the man and Tess, through whose two young hands the greater part of them had passed.
Even with a microscope directed on a water-drop we find ourselves making interpretations which turn out to be rather coarse; for whereas under a weak lens you may seem to see a creature exhibiting an active voracity into which other smaller creatures actively play as if they were so many animated tax-pennies, a stronger lens reveals to you certain tiniest hairlets which make vortices for these victims while the swallower waits passively at his receipt of custom.
The minister also witnessed detection activity in the customs channels, including x-ray scanning equipment for drug swallowers, and detector dogs at work.
A New Yorker, she started her career as a daycare intern working with children before going on to become one of the world's youngest sword swallowers.
30pm ENTERTAINMENT After weeks of hopeless wannabes, golden buzzers, dancing animals, sword swallowers and all manner of wacky variety acts - including Boogie Storm and Trip Hazard - we've reached the final.