\ 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

Manchester City have been left sweating over the long-term fitness of centre back Aymeric Laporte, as the Frenchman was stretchered off with a knee injury in the first half of the Citizens' Premier League clash with Brighton. SI.com, "Aymeric Laporte Stretchered Off for Manchester City During Brighton Clash," 31 Aug. 2019 Conditions on the steppe would switch suddenly from torrential rain to sweating heat but being entirely immersed in nature also provided some memorable moments. Ben Church, CNN, "Meet the oldest winner of the world's longest horse race," 30 Aug. 2019 But there’s no one within the organization sweating any decrease in scrambling. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Opinion: More than ever, Eagles need Carson Wentz to find a way to stay on the field," 21 Aug. 2019 The turkey Reuben is fat and glistening, shimmering with rolls of meat practically sweating Russian dressing. Kara Baskin, BostonGlobe.com, "At Via Lago, dinner is great, but lunch is the true scene," 19 Aug. 2019 Why was North Texas spared while the rest of the planet sweated? Jesus Jimenez, Dallas News, "July was Earth's hottest month ever, but Dallas-Fort Worth lucked out," 15 Aug. 2019 And hey, the College Board has made millions of students sweat for decades. Andrew Daniels, Popular Mechanics, "The Complex SAT Math Problem Even the College Board Got Wrong," 6 Aug. 2019 Indians sweat a lot, therefore, a softer and cooler fabric makes for perfect material for underwear. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "A young, US-educated entrepreneur is giving Indian men’s underwear a makeover," 31 July 2019 Chance has clearly sweated over every bar, but the best ones are blunt and evocative rather than clever per se. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Chance the Rapper Wants You to Get Married," 30 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

His first collection includes plenty of sport-ready pieces, like sweat-resistant short shorts and technical mesh polos, reimagined with Italian couture details. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Dao-Yi Chow Has a New Take on Tennis Apparel," 20 Aug. 2019 Don’t worry about pedal power, because this bike has a 500w electric motor which makes riding easy and sweat-free. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "Since Dogs Make Everything Better, There Is Now a Bike Designed to Take Your Dog Anywhere," 23 July 2019 Frame suspension moves weight from your shoulders to your hips, and a mesh back panel prevents your shirt from getting sweat-soaked. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "The 9 Best Travel Bags You Can Buy Right Now," 12 July 2019 Their adjustable earhooks wrap around your ear for a snug fit, while a waterproof coating protects them from sweat. Alexandria Haslam, PCWorld, "These massively popular Bluetooth sport headphones are only $17 today," 10 Oct. 2018 All options feature a sweat-wicking polyester/spandex blend, and all sell for under $40. Ruqaya Izzidien, Outside Online, "Fatimah Hussein Is America's Sports Hijab Pioneer," 6 June 2018 Diplo poses upside down in some comfy Calvin Klein sweats, and football star Odell Beckham, Jr. takes a mirror selfie. Kara Nesvig, Teen Vogue, "Bella Hadid, Jacob Elordi, Diplo and Naomi Campbell Strip Down in the New Calvin Klein Campaign," 13 Aug. 2019 The contestants and their assistants blow, sweat, grunt, hammer, and stoke hot flames for hours on end. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, "The Fiery Pleasures of “Blown Away,” a Reality-TV Competition for Glassblowing," 31 July 2019 Louisville's Jordan Nwora and Darius Perry help out with Chris Mack Basketball Camp Sam Upshaw Jr., Louisville Courier Journal The 2019-20 Louisville men's basketball team will be forged by three things: blood, sweat and paint. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville basketball recently ditched its regular offseason workouts for ... paintball," 23 July 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

8 Sep 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

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