Bosworth Toller's


Dictionary online


  • verb [ strong ]
Dictionary links
sweorfan, p. swearf, pl. swurfon; pp. sworfen
Wright's OE grammar
To rub, scour, file
    Germ. 394, 274.
Swyrfþ limat, Corfen sworfen cut and scoured (of the preparation of a wine-vat), Exon. Th. 410, 24; Rä. 29, 4. Mín heáfod is homere geþuren sworfen feóle, 497, 18; Rä. 87, 2. Cpds. with for, omitted in their place, are added here:?-Forsweorfeþ elimat, i. mundat, Wrt. Voc. ii. 143, 1. Biþ forsworfen vel forgniden demolitur, exterminatur, 138, 63.
[In later English the verb has the sense of swerve = to turn (aside) Swerve to no side,
    Gow. 3, 92.
Þe dint swarf,
    Arth. and Merl. 9369.
Heo swarf to Criste migravit ad Christum,
    Kath. 2181.
Cf. Du. zwerven to wander, rove: O. Frs. swerva to move, go. For the old English verb, cf. Goth. af-swairban to wipe out; delere; bi-swairban to wipe: O. Sax. swerƀan to wipe: O. H. Ger. swerban tergere, extergere, siccare: Icel. sverfa to file.]
Similar entries
v. á-, ge-sweorfan.
Linked entries
v.  a-sweorfan ge-sweorfan.
Full form


  • sweorfan, v.