sweep
Pronunciation Verb

sweep (sweeps, present participle sweeping; past and past participle swept)

  1. (transitive) to clean (a surface) by means of a stroke#Verb|stroking motion of a broom or brush
    to sweep a floor, the street, or a chimney
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Isaiah 14:23 ↗:
      I will sweep it with the besom of destruction.
  2. (intransitive) to move through a (horizontal) arc or similar long stroke
    The wind sweeps across the plain.
    The offended countess swept out of the ballroom.
    • 2005, Lesley Brown (translator), Sophist by Plato, 236d:
      [H]as the course of the argument so accustomed you to agreeing that you were swept by it into a ready assent?
  3. (transitive) to search (a place) methodically
  4. (intransitive, figuratively) to travel quickly
  5. (cricket) to play a sweep shot
  6. (curling) to brush the ice in front of a moving stone, causing it to travel farther and to curl less
  7. (transitive, ergative) to move something in a long sweeping motion, as a broom
  8. (sports, transitive) to win (a series) without drawing or losing any of the games in that series
  9. (sports, transitive) to defeat (a team) in a series without drawing or losing any of the games in that series
  10. (transitive) to remove something abruptly and thoroughly
    She swept the peelings off the table onto the floor.
    The wind sweeps the snow from the hills.
    The flooded river swept away the wooden dam.
  11. to brush against or over; to rub lightly along
    Their long descending train, / With rubies edged and sapphires, swept the plain.
    • 1977, Agatha Christie, chapter 4, in An Autobiography, part II, London: Collins, →ISBN:
      Mind you, clothes were clothes in those days. […]  Frills, ruffles, flounces, lace, complicated seams and gores: not only did they sweep the ground and have to be held up in one hand elegantly as you walked along, but they had little capes or coats or feather boas.
  12. to carry with a long, swinging, or dragging motion; hence, to carry in a stately or proud fashion
    • 1591, William Shakespeare, “The First Part of Henry the Sixt”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene iii]:
      And like a peacock sweep along his tail.
  13. to strike with a long stroke
    • 1708, Alexander Pope, Ode for Music on St Cecilia's Day:
      Wake into voice each silent string, / And sweep the sounding lyre.
  14. (rowing) To row with one oar to either the port or starboard side.
  15. (nautical) to draw or drag something over
    to sweep the bottom of a river with a net
  16. to pass over, or traverse, with the eye or with an instrument of observation
    to sweep the heavens with a telescope
Translations Translations Noun

sweep (plural sweeps)

  1. a single action of sweeping
    Give the front steps a quick sweep to get rid of those fallen leaves.
  2. the person who steers a dragon boat
  3. a person who stands at the stern of a surf boat, steering with a steering oar and commanding the crew
  4. a chimney sweep
  5. a methodical search, typically for bugs (electronic listening devices)
  6. (cricket) a batsman's shot, played from a kneeling position with a swinging horizontal bat
    Bradman attempted a sweep, but in fact top edged the ball to the wicket keeper
  7. a lottery, usually on the results of a sporting event, where players win if their randomly chosen team wins
    Jim will win fifty dollars in the office sweep if Japan wins the World Cup.
  8. a flow of water parallel to shore caused by wave action at an ocean beach or at a point or headland
  9. (martial arts) a throw or takedown that primarily uses the legs to attack an opponent's legs
  10. violent and general destruction
    the sweep of an epidemic disease
  11. (metalworking) a movable templet for making moulds, in loam moulding
  12. (card games) in the game casino, the act of capturing all face-up cards from the table
  13. the compass of any turning body or of any motion
    the sweep of a door; the sweep of the eye
  14. direction or departure of a curve, a road, an arch, etc. away from a rectilinear line
    • 1815 February 23, [Walter Scott], Guy Mannering; or, The Astrologer. [...] In Three Volumes, volume (please specify ), Edinburgh: Printed by James Ballantyne and Co. for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, […]; and Archibald Constable and Co., […], OCLC 742335644 ↗:
  15. a large oar used in small vessels, partly to propel them and partly to steer them
  16. (rowing) A rowing style in which each rower rows with oar on either the port or starboard side.
    I am primarily a sweep rower.
  17. (refining, obsolete) the almond furnace
  18. a long pole, or piece of timber, moved on a horizontal fulcrum fixed to a tall post and used to raise and lower a bucket in a well for drawing water
  19. any of the blades of a windmill
  20. (in the plural) the sweepings of workshops where precious metals are worked, containing filings, etc.
  21. any of several sea chub in the kyphosid subfamily Scorpidinae
    • 1993, Tim Winton, Land's Edge, Picador 2014, p. 28:
      Octopus clambered about from hole to hole and startled sweep blurred away as we passed.
  22. an expanse or a swath, a strip of land
Translations Translations


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