one fell swoop


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one fell swoop

A single decisive or powerful action. When the economy crashed, thousands lost their jobs, their homes, and their pensions in one fell swoop. With one fell swoop, the military junta arrested the prime minister, executed its enemies in parliament, and assumed total control of the country.
See also: fell, one, swoop

at one fell swoop

A single operation, often a violent one. This term was coined by Shakespeare, who used the metaphor of a hell-kite (probably a vulture) killing chickens for the murder of Macduff’s wife and children: “Oh, Hell-Kite! All? What, all my pretty chickens and their dam at one fell swoop?” (Macbeth, 4.3). The adjective fell was Old English for “fierce” or “savage.”
See also: fell, one, swoop

one fell swoop

A single and rapid act. “Fell” comes from an Old English word for frightful and “swoop” describes the way hawks and other birds of prey drop out of the sky to capture their victims. Accordingly, something that is done “in one fell swoop,” whether or not it is awful, happens with no hesitation. Shakespeare coined the phrase in Macbeth, where the character Macduff laments the murders of his wife and children with “What, all my pretty chick- ens and their dam / At one fell swoop?”
See also: fell, one, swoop
References in classic literature ?
It was delightful to be rid of Seesaw's hateful presence; but otherwise the loss of several playmates at one fell swoop made rather a gap in Riverboro's "younger set," and Rebecca was obliged to make friends with the Robinson baby, he being the only long-clothes child in the village that winter.
Matthew was covered with confusion at finding her there at all; and those bangles completely wrecked his wits at one fell swoop.
I invested the whole of my capital, at one fell swoop, in advertisements, and purchased my drugs and my pill-boxes on credit.
Adamson University took down San Beda in one fell swoop, 25-18, 25-22, 25-16, to start its campaign in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference Saturday at Filoil Flying V Center.
The aim was to suck out menstrual blood so women could get over their entire period in one fell swoop, and to train other women to use the Del-Em to induce abortions.
(Also, could they please specify which subsection within section 46 deals with this?) So, our fantastic generous saving of PS3.65 has, in one fell swoop, become a loss of PS26.35, as the real increase for the same services we had last year is PS87.05, which is a whopping 6.87% - one and a half times the Scottish Government's maximum increase.
Today, Sinclair -- in one fell swoop -- has established itself as a major cable network provider, thanks to its proposed acquisition of 21 regional sports networks from The Walt Disney Co.
Public service is to make the lives of people better, not horrible and terrible in one fell swoop.
France Galop's business plan to rebuild the course and use Arc weekend to generate the funds needed to operate it are now up in smoke, because in one fell swoop it managed to alienate its main market, the British and Irish racegoer, as the French long ago gave up on overpriced racing.
For former Caernarfon Rugby Club player Griffiths, who is helping London Welsh make the long journey back from falling down seven tiers of the English game in one fell swoop 12 months ago after the debt-ridden club had gone into voluntary liquidation, there was one crumb of comfort: Welsh avenged their only defeat of the season so far against UCS Old Boys to maintain an 11-point lead at the top of the table | Cai Griffiths showing the head injury he got playing for London Welsh
Shakespeare was said to have coined the phrase "One fell swoop" in which of his plays?
Erik Brooks, chair of the African-American studies program, pointed out that Western was one of the first schools to adopt such a program and that ending it would "wipe away all of that history in one fell swoop." While the school might cut the programs, it plans to retain minors.
The statement pointed out that "were targeted tactical site gangs Daash near Baiji, in one fell swoop, which led to the destruction of the wars site for Daash, in addition to targeting the tactical site to organize Daash near Habbaniyah air strike, which led to the destruction of the wars site and car Daash".
If they had one iota of common sense they would buy out the M6 Toll road and solve the traffic problems around Birmingham in one fell swoop.
Both economically and politically, it is difficult to close all offices "at one fell swoop," he noticed.