\ ˈswet How to pronounce sweat (audio) \
sweat or sweated; sweating

Definition of sweat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to excrete moisture in visible quantities through the openings of the sweat glands : perspire
b : to labor or exert oneself so as to cause perspiration
2a : to emit or exude moisture cheese sweats in ripening
b : to gather surface moisture in beads as a result of condensation stones sweat at night
c(1) : ferment
(2) : putrefy
3 : to undergo anxiety or mental or emotional distress sweat through final exams
4 : to become exuded through pores or a porous surface : ooze

transitive verb

1 : to emit or seem to emit from pores : exude
2 : to manipulate or produce by hard work or drudgery
3 : to get rid of or lose (weight) by or as if by sweating or being sweated
4 : to make wet with perspiration
5a : to cause to excrete moisture from the skin
b : to drive hard : overwork
c : to exact work from at low wages and under unfair or unhealthful conditions
d slang : to give the third degree to
6 : to cause to exude or lose moisture especially : to subject (something, such as tobacco leaves) to fermentation
7a : to extract something valuable from by unfair or dishonest means : fleece
b : to remove particles of metal from (a coin) by abrasion
8a : to heat (something, such as solder) so as to melt and cause to run especially between surfaces to unite them also : to unite by such means sweat a pipe joint
b : to heat so as to extract an easily fusible constituent sweat bismuth ore
c : to sauté in a covered vessel until natural juices are exuded
9 slang : to worry about doesn't sweat the small stuff— Barry McDermott
sweat blood
: to work or worry intensely in preparing speeches each sweats blood in his own way— Stewart Cockburn



Definition of sweat (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : hard work : drudgery
2 : the fluid excreted from the sweat glands of the skin : perspiration
3 : moisture issuing from or gathering in drops on a surface
4a : the condition of one sweating or sweated
b : a spell of sweating
5 : a state of anxiety or impatience

6 sweats plural

no sweat
: with little or no difficulty : easily also : easy often used interjectionally

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Examples of sweat in a Sentence


He sweats a lot when he exercises. They sweated and saved so their children could go to college. We'll let them sweat a while longer. We'll let them sweat it out for a while longer. “The car won't start—what are we going to do?” “Don't sweat it. I know all about fixing cars.”


We were drenched in sweat after the workout. The runners were dripping with sweat. Her forehead was covered with beads of sweat. It took a lot of sweat and toil to build the house. We helped them not with money but with our blood and sweat.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

China, meanwhile, may be sweating the fitness of Shanshan and Shuang Wang, both of whom were withdrawn prematurely in the 0-0 draw with Spain. SI.com, "Women's World Cup - Matchday 18 Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Team News & More," 24 June 2019 After an ugly opening-round loss to Colorado in the Pac-12 tournament, Bobby Hurley’s team will also be sweating. Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "Here’s what’s happening around the NCAA Tournament bubble as Louisville basketball waits," 10 Mar. 2018 For his contemporaries, bathing often meant washing only face, hands, and arms in cool water; sweating was believed to rid the body of toxins. Ignacio Peyró, National Geographic, "This 19th-century London dandy caused a style revolution," 18 June 2019 Water doesn’t replenish electrolytes or the sugar, salts and other chemicals the body loses when sweating. Jay R. Brooks, The Mercury News, "Sierra Nevada Brewing ventures into wellness beer," 17 June 2019 The first day of fall means sweating in my favorite sweater. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "50 Fall Instagram Captions for All Your Gorgeous Autumn Photos," 14 June 2019 So sweating in the same clothes twice before washing them is probably OK in most cases. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "How Gross Is It Really to Re-Wear Sweaty Workout Clothes?," 5 June 2019 The top of my X is usually sweated off by the end of the night anyway. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al.com, "Next wave Alabama musicians: hard-hitting drummer with style," 5 June 2019 Kenny Stills, DeVante Parker, Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant figure to be in the Dolphins’ plans, while players like Butler, former seventh-round pick Isaiah Ford and undrafted free agent Preston Williams may sweat it out for a roster spot. Safid Deen, sun-sentinel.com, "Dolphins’ Brice Butler suffers injury during rain-soaked practice at minicamp," 4 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

All the work, all the blood, all the sweat and all the tears was for this. Arash Markazi, latimes.com, "Jon Jones and Amanda Nunes headline UFC 239 with all-time greatness on the line," 5 July 2019 An Indian man uses a towel to wipe the sweat on his face on a hot and humid summer day in Hyderabad, India, on June 3, 2019. Shekhar Chandra, CNN, "Are parts of India becoming too hot for humans?," 3 July 2019 Although the trail ascends 755 feet, flowing switchbacks take most of the sweat and toil out of the climb. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "You'll probably have the summit to yourself on this shady summer hike," 7 June 2019 The heat, exercise, and inevitable sweat all combine to make working out one of my most potent triggers for rosacea and acne. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "The $5 Gentle Face Wipes I Use to Take Off Pretty Much Everything," 13 May 2019 There are ways to ensure that your foundation, contouring, and highlighting will stay in place, even through the sweat. Allure, "How to Prevent Makeup From Melting Off Your Face This Summer, According to the Pros," 17 July 2018 Last but not least, a nod to the makeup artists at Thom Browne, who were seen frantically dabbing sweat off of the models’ faces. Michael Philouze, Vogue, "Vogue’s Michael Philouze Reflects on the Growing American Presence at the Paris Menswear Shows," 27 June 2019 The disease causes the cells that produce sweat and mucus to becomes thicker in organs such as the lungs, according to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, "Woman Battling Cystic Fibrosis, 22, Praises Chrissy Teigen & Taylor Swift for 'Building My Spirits'," 26 June 2019 Some goats have become aggressive in their search for salts in human urine and sweat. USA TODAY, "Mermaid Parade, Lincoln’s Bible, District 12: News from around our 50 states," 24 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sweat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sweat


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sweat


Middle English sweten, from Old English swǣtan, from swāt sweat; akin to Old High German sweiz sweat, Latin sudare to sweat, Greek hidrōs sweat

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Statistics for sweat

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sweat

The first known use of sweat was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for sweat



English Language Learners Definition of sweat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to produce a clear liquid from your skin when you are hot or nervous
informal : to work very hard
: to feel worried or nervous about something



English Language Learners Definition of sweat (Entry 2 of 2)

: the clear liquid that forms on your skin when you are hot or nervous
: the state or condition of someone who is sweating
: hard work


\ ˈswet How to pronounce sweat (audio) \
sweat or sweated; sweating

Kids Definition of sweat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to give off salty moisture through the pores of the skin : perspire
2 : to collect moisture on the surface A pitcher of ice water sweats on a hot day.
3 : to work hard enough to perspire She sweat over the lesson.



Kids Definition of sweat (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : moisture coming from or collecting in drops on a surface
3 : the condition of a person or animal perspiring We worked up a sweat.
\ ˈswet How to pronounce sweat (audio) \
sweat or sweated; sweating

Medical Definition of sweat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to excrete moisture in visible quantities through the opening of the sweat glands : perspire



Medical Definition of sweat (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the fluid excreted from the sweat glands of the skin : perspiration
2 : abnormally profuse sweating often used in plural soaking sweats

Other Words from sweat

sweaty \ -​ē How to pronounce sweaty (audio) \ adjective sweatier; sweatiest

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More from Merriam-Webster on sweat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sweat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sweat

Spanish Central: Translation of sweat

Nglish: Translation of sweat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sweat for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sweat

What made you want to look up sweat? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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