sweep

verb
\ ˈswēp How to pronounce sweep (audio) \
swept\ ˈswept How to pronounce sweep (audio) \; sweeping

Definition of sweep

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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
2a : 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 districtAmer. Guide Series: Md.
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
3 : to touch in passing with a swift continuous movement
4 : to trace or describe the locus or extent of (something, such as a line, circle, or angle)
5 : to cover the entire range of his eyes swept the horizon

intransitive verb

1a : to clean a surface with or as if with a broom
b : to move swiftly, forcefully, or devastatingly the wind swept through the treetops
2 : to go with stately or sweeping movements proudly swept into the room
3 : 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
1 : to win all the bets on the table
2 : to win everything : beat all competitors

sweep

noun

Definition of sweep (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something that sweeps or works with a sweeping motion: such 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
2a : 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)
3a : 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
6 : obliquity with respect to a reference line sweep of an airplane wing especially : sweepback
7 sweeps plural : a television ratings period during which surveys are taken to determine advertising rates

Illustration of sweep

Illustration of sweep

Noun

sweep 1a

In the meaning defined above

Synonyms & Antonyms for sweep

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for sweep

Noun

range, gamut, compass, sweep, scope, orbit mean the extent that lies within the powers of something (as to cover or control). range is a general term indicating the extent of one's perception or the extent of powers, capacities, or possibilities. the entire range of human experience gamut suggests a graduated series running from one possible extreme to another. a performance that ran the gamut of emotions compass implies a sometimes limited extent of perception, knowledge, or activity. your concerns lie beyond the narrow compass of this study sweep suggests extent, often circular or arc-shaped, of motion or activity. the book covers the entire sweep of criminal activity scope is applicable to an area of activity, predetermined and limited, but somewhat flexible. as time went on, the scope of the investigation widened orbit suggests an often circumscribed range of activity or influence within which forces work toward accommodation. within that restricted orbit they tried to effect social change

Examples of sweep in a Sentence

Verb He swept the dirt off the driveway. He swept the crumbs from the table. I need to sweep the kitchen. Are you finished sweeping the porch? A storm swept across the plains. Fires swept through the forest. She proudly swept into the room. The limo swept up to the door. He swept the curtains aside. She swept the books off the desk. Noun Mrs. Griswold has been a teacher for so long that the sweep of her influence extends across three generations of the townspeople. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Ohio Department of Transportation was notified to sweep it clean. Joan Rusek, cleveland, 5 Aug. 2022 Two feet of water can float a car, and 6 inches of moving water can sweep you off your feet. Angela Fritz, CNN, 29 July 2022 Drag your blush of choice down to the apple of your cheeks, sweep it up to your the middle of your nose where the sun would naturally hit, and repeat it on the other side. Ana Escalante, Glamour, 13 July 2022 Who thought the Reds would beat the A’s in ’90, let alone sweep them? Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 23 June 2022 Pegasus is a powerful tool that allows its operator to infiltrate a target’s phone and sweep up its contents, including messages, photos, contacts and location history — without the target being aware or taking any action. Emily Rose, ajc, 1 Aug. 2022 Their dilemma reflects the precarious situation of families in rural Donetsk who cling to self-sufficiency even as war threatens to sweep over them. Erika Solomon, BostonGlobe.com, 31 July 2022 Their dilemma reflects the precarious situation of families in rural Donetsk who cling to a self-sufficiency even as war threatens to sweep over them. New York Times, 31 July 2022 With intense heat waves continuing to sweep most of the country this summer, there are few of us not in search of new solutions for keeping cool, whether that's at home, work, or out and about. Annie Burdick, PEOPLE.com, 27 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Houston completed its sweep of the Oakland Athletics with a 6-3 win Sunday. Emily Olsen, USA TODAY, 15 Aug. 2022 The Dodgers still went on to beat the San Francisco Giants 5-3 on Thursday, completing their first four-game sweep in San Francisco since 1977 to finish 7-1 on a two-city trip. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 5 Aug. 2022 That includes taking all three games this week in a series against the Houston Astros, their first sweep of the season. Lamond Pope, Chicago Tribune, 29 July 2022 After suffering their first series sweep of the season by Oakland, the Houston Astros were determined to get back on track against the Seattle Mariners. Kristie Rieken, Chron, 28 July 2022 But in May the Ukrainian government seized the investment as part of its sweep to nationalize Russian assets within its borders. Anna Hirtenstein, WSJ, 28 July 2022 During their sweep, the analysts found 28 Android apps on the Google Play app store containing adware trojans. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 27 July 2022 Their last sweep came in a three-game series against Houston, Sept. 24-26, in their final home series of 2021. Steve Kroner, San Francisco Chronicle, 24 July 2022 Abby Steiner was not able to complete her sweep of gold medals this summer. The Courier-Journal, 22 July 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of sweep

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sweep

Verb

Middle English swepen; akin to Old English swāpan to sweep, Old High German sweifen to wander

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Time Traveler for sweep

Time Traveler

The first known use of sweep was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near sweep

Sweeney layout

sweep

sweepage

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Statistics for sweep

Last Updated

18 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sweep.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sweep. Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for sweep

sweep

verb
\ ˈswēp How to pronounce sweep (audio) \
swept\ ˈswept \; sweeping

Kids Definition of sweep

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to remove with a broom or brush Please sweep up the dirt.
2 : to clean by removing loose dirt or small trash with a broom or brush I need to sweep the floor.
3 : to move over or across swiftly often with force or destruction Fire swept the village.
4 : to move or gather as if with a broom or brush I swept the money from the table.
5 : to move the eyes or an instrument through a wide curve They swept the hill for some sign of the enemy.
6 : to touch a surface of quickly The musician's fingers swept the piano keys.
7 : to drive along with steady force Debris was swept away by the tide.
8 : to become suddenly very popular throughout It's a show that is sweeping the nation.
9 : to achieve a complete or easy victory

Other Words from sweep

sweeper noun

sweep

noun

Kids Definition of sweep (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a curving movement, course, or line I brushed it away with a sweep of my hand.
2 : an act or instance of cleaning with a broom or brush
3 : a wide stretch or curve of land
4 : something that sweeps or works with a sweeping motion
5 : a complete or easy victory
6 : range entry 1 sense 2, scope The island was outside the sweep of our vision.

More from Merriam-Webster on sweep

Nglish: Translation of sweep for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sweep for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sweep

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