swoop

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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

v.
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 raids, directly linked to the M-way swoop, were concentrated on streets near the town centre and rail station.
YouSwoop's expansion plan prides itself on growth with integrity by counseling each individual business owner to create a swoop that will best serve their goals without detrimentally overextending themselves.
Two German yachtsmen appeared in court yesterday after a pounds 10million drug swoop.
Two Dutch nationals were quizzed in Amsterdam on Friday in connection with another major swoop in which the French and German authorities were also involved.
Drug swoops POLICE raided four Birmingham homes in a new operation on suspected drug dealers today.
PSNI officers backed up by British troops made simultaneous swoops in South Armagh.
Similar swoops were taking place at exactly the same time in other parts of Coventry.
Three were held in dawn swoops at addresses in Hulme and Bury.
A West Midlands Police spokesman said that further details about the operation and the swoops on homes would be released later today.
SWOOP The air ambulance swoops in to the field in Kenilworth during the rescue bid; PROBE: Police and ambulance service attend the scene in St John Street, Kenilworth
TERROR: A gull swoops low over a London street; AGE; MENACE: The hungry gulls head for cities
The swoops were carried out at two shops in Caldmore Green and one on Caldmore Road, on Tuesday.
TWO men arrested in morning swoops yesterday were well known republicans, The Mirror has learned.
A HUGE swoop by police in North Worcestershire to crack down on burglars and car thieves has been hailed a major success after dawn swoops on houses in Redditch and Bromsgrove netted 14 arrests.
Ballymena Sub-Divisional Commander, Superintendent Alan Hayes said the swoops were designed to disrupt the supply, sale and misuse of drugs in the area.