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at 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 at one fell swoop.
See also: fell, one, swoop

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

at one fell swoop

 and in one fell swoop
Fig. in a single incident; as a single event. (This phrase preserves the old word fell, meaning "terrible" or "deadly.") The party guests ate up all the snacks at one fell swoop. When the stock market crashed, many large fortunes were wiped out in one fell swoop.
See also: fell, one, swoop

swoop down (up)on someone or something

1. Lit. to dive or plunge downward on someone or something. The eagle swooped down upon the lamb.
2. Fig. [for someone] to pounce on and consume something. The children swooped down on the ice cream and cake.
See also: down, on, 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

swoop down

To make a rush or an attack with or as if with a sudden sweeping movement: An owl swooped down on the rabbit.
See also: down, 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 periodicals archive ?
The 560 starlings are made from recycled plastic, which is lightweight and doesn't put as much pressure on the ground; they're now offering shelter and protection to wildlife; something that wouldn't have been possible if we'd used chalk or concrete to create Swoop.
1) To control mustang population, helicopters swoop down and thunder behind bands of fleeing mustangs, herding them into temporary corrals.
This means that in one Fell swoop Siemens has become the world's largest supplier of production and logistics automation systems.
NEW YORK -- UBS today announced the global launch of a new algorithmic trading strategy called "UBS Swoop," a specifically designed trading strategy product to support clients on discontinuous liquidity and hard-to-trade or low-volume securities.
They've been known to swoop down in defence of their babies.
Swoop, on a hillside overlooking Elland, depicts a flock of starlings in flight.
The swoop came after bit-part actor Mohammad Baryalei was heard in a phone tap urging militant Omarjan Azari to carry out the hideous execution Jihadist recruiter and one-time street preacher Baryalei, who had a small part in Australian TV series Underbelly, is still being hunted.
United's 787 fleet will feature a customized livery that is exclusive to the fleet: the gold line that wraps the fuselage will swoop from nose to tail.
SIX men were arrested after an early morning police swoop on a Teesside primary school.
BURSCOUGH have completed a swoop for Bootle's Chris Tyson.
Demonstrators, under the banner the Great Climate Swoop, included supporters of three pressure groups - the Camp for Climate Action, Plane Stupid and Climate Rush.
And League One promotion chasers Leeds have completed a double swoop for experienced Crystal Palace keeper Daryl Flahvan and Reading centre-back Sam Sodje.
ANTI-TERROR cops investigating Islamic extremist groups arrested nine men in a dramatic motorway swoop.
Two of the men - aged 27 and 33 - will appear in court tomorrow after the latest drugs swoop.
FRENCH agents believe they have thwarted intended terror attacks with a massive swoop yesterday on a suspected Islamic network.