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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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
send me some grace to slepe and mete in my slep som certyn sweven wherthourgh that I may knowen even whether my lord be quyk or ded.
"Be processe of tyme," he says, "[I] fonde to put this sweven in ryme" (1331-32).
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).
Both the Parliament and the Book of the Duchess call especial attention not only to, as Margaret Bridges puts it, "the reader-beholder's status as interpreter" (157), but also to the reader-beholder's potential as a writer himself; the Book of the Duchess likewise ends with an emphasis on and exaltation of the reader-narrator's act of putting his "sweven in ryme" (1332).
Se non e importante stabilire se quello che segue si possa categorizzare macrobianamente piu come "sweven" o "drem" (due termini equivalenti per sogno), "avisioun" o "revelacioun," "fantome" o "miracles," quello che e certo e cio che il narratore si augura che questo sogno porti: Wel worthe, of this thyng, grete clerkys, that fret of this and other werkes; for I of noon opinion nyl as now make mensyon, but oonly that the holy roode turne us every drem to goode!
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.