verb \ˈswēp\

: to remove (something, such as dust or dirt) from a surface with a broom or brush or with a quick movement of your hand, fingers, etc.

: to remove dust, dirt, etc., from (something) with a broom or brush

: to move or pass quickly, forcefully, or smoothly

swept \ˈswept\ sweep·ing

Full Definition of SWEEP

transitive verb
a :  to remove from a surface with or as if with a broom or brush <swept the crumbs from the table>
b :  to destroy completely :  wipe out —usually used with away <everything she cherished, might be swept away overnight — Louis Bromfield>
c :  to remove or take with a single continuous forceful action <swept the books off the desk>
d :  to remove from sight or consideration <the problem can't be swept under the rug>
e :  to drive or carry along with irresistible force <a wave of protest that swept the opposition into office>
a :  to clean with or as if with a broom or brush
b :  to clear by repeated and forcible action
c :  to move across or along swiftly, violently, or overwhelmingly <fire swept the business district — American Guide Series: Maryland>
d :  to win an overwhelming victory in or on <sweep the elections>
e :  to win all the games or contests of <sweep a double-header> <sweep a series>
:  to touch in passing with a swift continuous movement
:  to trace or describe the locus or extent of (as a line, circle, or angle)
:  to cover the entire range of <his eyes swept the horizon>
intransitive verb
a :  to clean a surface with or as if with a broom
b :  to move swiftly, forcefully, or devastatingly <the wind swept through the treetops>
:  to go with stately or sweeping movements <proudly swept into the room>
:  to move or extend in a wide curve or range
sweep one off one's feet
:  to gain immediate and unquestioning support, approval, or acceptance by a person
sweep the board or sweep the table
:  to win all the bets on the table
:  to win everything :  beat all competitors

Examples of SWEEP

  1. He swept the dirt off the driveway.
  2. He swept the crumbs from the table.
  3. I need to sweep the kitchen.
  4. Are you finished sweeping the porch?
  5. A storm swept across the plains.
  6. Fires swept through the forest.
  7. She proudly swept into the room.
  8. The limo swept up to the door.
  9. He swept the curtains aside.
  10. She swept the books off the desk.

Origin of SWEEP

Middle English swepen; akin to Old English swāpan to sweep, Old High German sweifen to wander
First Known Use: 14th century



: an act of cleaning an area with a broom or brush

: a long, smooth movement often in a wide curve

: a large area of land often forming a wide curve

Full Definition of SWEEP

:  something that sweeps or works with a sweeping motion: as
a :  a long pole or timber pivoted on a tall post and used to raise and lower a bucket in a well
b :  a triangular cultivator blade that cuts off weeds under the soil surface
c :  a windmill sail
a :  an instance of sweeping; especially :  a clearing out or away with or as if with a broom
b :  the removal from the table in one play in casino of all the cards by pairing or combining
c :  an overwhelming victory
d :  a winning of all the contests or prizes in a competition
e :  a wide-ranging search of an area (as by police)
a :  a movement of great range and force
b :  a curving or circular course or line
c :  the compass of a sweeping movement :  scope
d :  a broad unbroken area or extent <a sweep of wildflowers>
e :  an end run in football in which one or more linemen pull back and run interference for the ballcarrier
:  obliquity with respect to a reference line <sweep of an airplane wing>; especially :  sweepback
plural :  a television ratings period during which surveys are taken to determine advertising rates

Examples of SWEEP

  1. <Mrs. Griswold has been a teacher for so long that the sweep of her influence extends across three generations of the townspeople.>

Illustration of SWEEP

First Known Use of SWEEP



Next Word in the Dictionary: sweepagePrevious Word in the Dictionary: Sweeney layoutAll Words Near: sweep
May 25, 2015
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