\ 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

Examples of sweat in a Sentence

Verb 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.” Noun 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 Sunday, the Spurs took a victory that was teed up for them and didn’t make the home crowd have to sweat for it. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, 26 Dec. 2021 Anyone who's traipsed the Harrison Center's stairs has recognized its potential to host people eager to sweat. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, 1 Dec. 2021 Who has hours to sweat over a stove, stirring oneself into hypnosis? New York Times, 11 Nov. 2021 And the Los Angeles Dodgers aren’t going to sweat the tax ramifications of their final $282.7 million payroll. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, 10 Nov. 2021 But Palacios has learned not to sweat things that are outside his control. Joe Noga, cleveland, 29 Oct. 2021 Studies confirm that the constant din of conversations, footsteps and office equipment actually causes people to be 25% crankier than usual and to sweat 34% more. Max Hansen, Forbes, 27 Oct. 2021 The Aggies’ two losses before Saturday’s 41-38 win over Alabama mean the Tide does not have to sweat losing a tiebreaker with its foes in College Station. Mike Rodak | Mrodak@al.com, al, 10 Oct. 2021 Meanwhile, those in the majority of New Orleans neighborhoods still without power, residents continued to sweat it out while crews assessed lines and ascended in bucket trucks to make repairs. Rebecca Santana, Chron, 1 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Featuring a natural rubber base for cushioning and a textured grip for reducing sweat, this extra-long and wide yoga mat by Lululemon is great for tall people and those who want more space for stretching. Nicole Charky-chami, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Jan. 2022 Working his way back after surgery took a lot of hard work and sweat. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 31 Dec. 2021 The power of the ginger and chiles made my nose sweat — in a good way. Los Angeles Times, 30 Dec. 2021 This is because cleansing gets rid of the first layer of oil, dirt and sweat, making for a more thorough exfoliation and a cleaner surface for your scrub to work its magic. Joseph Deacetis, Forbes, 30 Dec. 2021 This punch by Jake Paul to the jaw of Tyron Woodley worked out nicely, photo-wise, with the spray of sweat exploding from Woodley’s face. John Kuntz, cleveland, 26 Dec. 2021 Yes, the sweat will be excreted one way or the other, but your armpits won’t suddenly turn into a fire hydrant. Adam Hurly, Robb Report, 24 Dec. 2021 In short, antiperspirants suffocates the life out of bacteria by preventing sweat from forming—therefore bacteria can't grow. Joseph Deacetis, Forbes, 22 Dec. 2021 Trailing by three, Ball State made Arkansas State sweat, even as a strong north wind sent the temperature plunging. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, 17 Dec. 2021

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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Time Traveler for sweat

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

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Dictionary Entries Near sweat

swear word



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Last Updated

11 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sweat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sweat. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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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
: 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 : perspiration
: 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.


intransitive verb
\ 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 sweat (audio) \ adjective sweatier; sweatiest

More from Merriam-Webster on sweat

Nglish: Translation of sweat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sweat for Arabic Speakers


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