A swath was originally the long narrow space created by a single swing of a scythe in a field of grass or corn as the cutter moved through it. Nowadays it is used more figuratively to mean any kind of path someone makes.

The figurative use of swath has nonphysical senses as well, as in the term "a significant swath of the population believes..." Or if someone is trying to attract attention to themselves, or is making quite a public stir, they might be said to be "cutting a swath through the business world" or "cutting a swath on the dance floor." Hopefully, neither of the latter involves using scythes.

Definitions of swath

n a path or strip (as cut by one course of mowing)

Type of:
course, path, track
a line or route along which something travels or moves

n the space created by the swing of a scythe or the cut of a mowing machine

Type of:
an empty area (usually bounded in some way between things)

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