in one fell swoop


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Related to in one fell swoop: by all means

in one fell swoop

All at once, with a single decisive or powerful action. When the economy crashed, thousands lost their jobs, their homes, and their pensions in one fell swoop.
See also: fell, one, swoop

one fell swoop, in

Also at one fell swoop. All at once, in a single action, as in This law has lifted all the controls on cable TV in one fell swoop. This term was used and probably invented by Shakespeare in Macbeth (4:3), where the playwright likens the murder of Macduff's wife and children to a hawk swooping down on defenseless prey. Although fell here means "cruel" or "ruthless," this meaning has been lost in the current idiom, where it now signifies "sudden."
See also: fell, one

in (or at) one fell swoop

all in one go.
This expression comes from Macduff's appalled reaction to the murder of his wife and children in Shakespeare's Macbeth: ‘Oh hell-kite!…All my pretty chickens, and their dam At one fell swoop?’
See also: fell, one, swoop

at/in one fell ˈswoop

with a single action or movement; all at the same time: Only a foolish politician would promise to lower the rate of inflation and reduce unemployment at one fell swoop.
See also: fell, one, swoop
References in periodicals archive ?
Today's Dallas Cowboys Note: If and when Jerry Jones gets around to telling Barry Switzer to store his side arms in another stadium, The Man believes the Cowboys' iconoclastic owner/master of ceremonies can restore discipline to his fallen franchise AND redress his biggest public relations gaffe in one fell swoop simply by hiring as his next head coach.
For the legislation to negate that in one fell swoop is contrary to our interests.