\ 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

Guess what’s better than sweating over an all-butter dough in this humidity? Bon Appétit, "The Only Thing Better Than Ice Cream...," 18 July 2019 SARINYAPINNGAM Getty Images/iStockphoto Consumers may be starting to sweat it. Anne Sraders, Fortune, "American Consumers Might be About to 'Talk Ourselves Into a Recession.' Here's How," 26 June 2019 There was, however, a lot munching, sweating, crying and freaking out as the food turned nasty on Jimmy and Selena. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Selena Gomez and Jimmy Fallon Eat Super-Spicy Chicken Wings on 'Tonight Show': Watch," 12 June 2019 No need to sweat the small stuff: customers won't see the changes for awhile—not in 2018, and perhaps not even in 2019, Kelly said. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "Southwest Airlines Promises They Still Won't Charge for Bags," 27 July 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

He, like about a dozen other young NBA players on the select practice team, are in Las Vegas primarily to make the World Cup team sweat. Mike Finger, ExpressNews.com, "As Spurs’ White pushes Team USA, a star keeps rising," 6 Aug. 2019 Led by Mona Polacca, a Hopi elder from Arizona and frequent committee member for Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations, the sweat became what for me an experience that would leave me utterly changed. Angie Jaime, Teen Vogue, "The Aniwa Gathering Connected Me to My Indigenous Ancestors," 2 Aug. 2019 The temperature starts climbing and all of a sudden the sweat on your chest is out of control, making your bra even more uncomfortable. Madeline Purdue, USA TODAY, "Cool clothes: Bras, boxers and bracelets to keep cool from the inside out during heatwave," 29 July 2019 The British DJs and producers got together for a hot and heavy two-track EP called Crystal Clear, and the EP's B-side is a steady pumpin' synth breaker designed to unlock the sweat from every pore. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Riva Starr, Camelphat and Mikey V Bring the 'Electricity' On New Track: Exclusive," 24 July 2019 The drier the conditions, the more effective sweat is at cooling us. Scott Lear, Quartzy, "The best ways to exercise in summer heat," 12 July 2019 Among the conditions of his probation, Moore had to wear a monitor that tested his sweat for alcohol every 30 minutes. Robert Wilonsky, Dallas News, "Daughter of former Dallas council member Carolyn Davis also killed in Monday crash, police say," 17 July 2019 The scientists think these farms were cooler because the water that evaporates through the crops acts a bit like how your sweat can cool you down. Jen Christensen, CNN, "Veggie farmers lower the surface temperature, but they're not a climate cure-all," 2 July 2019 But his shirt is covered with large, red roses, and one leg of his orange sweats is pulled up to reveal patterned socks and bright red sneakers. Sharon Mizota, latimes.com, "Review: A painter probes hip-hop stereotypes and what it means to be black and male," 17 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

11 Aug 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).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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