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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

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 ?
Sources said the swoop was linked to inquiries into suspected terror cells in the North of England and possible offences abroad.
To celebrate the launch, Hershey teams up with Neuwirth to host a public Swoops dance-a-thon in the heart of Times Square on behalf of Broadway Cares.
to the crowd, the kite rose, made a quick swoop to the left - ending up draped over an onlooker's parked car - and tugged the obelisk the rest of the way to vertical.
Swoops span the gamut, ranging from spa experiences, to dental exams, to sporting events, to restaurant indulgences.
And an 18-year-old man was cautioned for possessing cannabis following the swoop in West Boulevard.
The first raids were carried out last Wednesday at 3am in London followed by 6am swoops on Teesside, Tyne & Wear and Co Durham.
Both men were remanded in custody after being charged under the rarely- used Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) Act 1990, designed for swoops outside territorial waters.
The viewer swoops down from the heights to stop in front of Frederick's of Hollywood.
Swoops are slices of chocolate shaped like a potato chip created by Hershey's and scheduled to be introduced in the fall of 2003.
PSNI officers backed up by British troops made simultaneous swoops in South Armagh.
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
The swoops were timed to coincide with action by South African police in Durban, where officers were thought to have visited at least one address.
After a series of swoops on warehouses and vehicles used to carry drugs on air and sea routes from mainland Europe, senior cops yesterday praised Interpol and Europol for their co-operation in the latest crackdown.
THE RUC last night found more quantities of killer drugs in the latest in a series of swoops.
Drug swoops POLICE raided four Birmingham homes in a new operation on suspected drug dealers today.