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An area cleared for temporary cultivation by cutting and burning the vegetation.

[Dialectal alteration of obsolete swithen, from Old Norse svidhna, to be burned.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


a. an area of land where slash-and-burn techniques have been used to prepare it for cultivation
b. (as modifier): small-scale swidden agriculture.
[C18: Northern English dialect variant of swithen to burn]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈswɪd n)

a plot of land cleared for farming by burning away vegetation.
[1951; earlier E dial. swidden burned area of moor < Old Norse svithna to be singed]
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 ?
It discusses the emergence of narratives that framed swidden cultivation as environmentally destructive, and how Indochina's highly diverse and slow-growing forests challenged French forest exploitation and management.
But as the rice terraces and habal (swidden farms) began deteriorating, native pigs also started to disappear.
Professor Zialcita believes that a crucial reason was the prevalence of swidden cultivation (over wet rice cultivation), which made sense in our thickly forested and very mountainous geography.
Guido Sprenger traces the implications for ecological understanding of ongoing transitions from swidden agriculture to coffee cultivation and from animistic practice to Buddhism in upland southern Laos.
They practiced "swidden" agriculture--burning out one clearing for cultivation, then letting it regenerate while rotating to another area--likely introduced by Scandinavians mixed in with the predominant Scots-Irish.
However, governments have increasingly used their powers to allocate vast areas of swidden fallows for large-scale commercial plantations at the expense of indigenous farmers.
In both villages, NTFPs, swidden agriculture and market gardens (cassava and bananas) provide the main sources of subsistence and income for women.
They have a unique and flexible economy that traditionally shifts in and out of periods of swidden gardening and a nomadic life based on digging for wild yams.
Their development at the time, from the late 1970s through the 1990s, appeared to have depended on the extent and duration of their past trading contacts with sedentary swidden agriculturists.
Rural swidden agricultural practices were incompatible with the forest protection demanded by canal authorities.