sweeping

noun
sweep·​ing | \ ˈswē-piŋ How to pronounce sweeping (audio) \

Definition of sweeping

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act or action of one that sweeps gave the room a good sweeping
2 sweepings plural : things collected by sweeping : refuse

sweeping

adjective

Definition of sweeping (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : moving or extending in a wide curve or over a wide area
b : having a curving line or form
2a : extensive sweeping reforms
b : marked by wholesale and indiscriminate inclusion sweeping generalities

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Other Words from sweeping

Adjective

sweepingly adverb
sweepingness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for sweeping

Synonyms: Adjective

broad, deep, expansive, extended, extensive, far-flung, far-reaching, rangy, wide, wide-ranging, widespread

Antonyms: Adjective

narrow

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Examples of sweeping in a Sentence

Noun

The porch needs a good sweeping.

Adjective

a sweeping view of the valley He dismissed the idea with a sweeping motion of his arm.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Separately, Xi and Macron issued a sweeping, 37-point joint statement that seemed like another rebuke to Trump. Sylvie Corbet, The Seattle Times, "China’s Xi, European leaders form trade policy partnership," 26 Mar. 2019 The July 30 vote was peaceful but scenes of the military sweeping into the capital two days later to disperse opposition protesters led to fears that Mnangagwa's government was stuck in the past despite declarations of reforms. Fox News, "The Latest: Zimbabwe court upholds president's election win," 24 Aug. 2018 The final goal came from Belgium’s final attack of the game, a sweeping, length-of-the-field surge that ended up with Nacer Chadli tapping into the Japan net. Jonathan Clegg, WSJ, "Belgium Rallies From Two-Goal Deficit to Stun Japan in the World Cup," 2 July 2018 Amid a litany of promises ranging from the hyper specific to the sweeping, NBC News has zeroed in on and evaluated 10. NBC News, "One Year Later, What Trump’s Delivered – and What He Hasn’t," 8 Nov. 2017 The sweeping, 37-page indictment marked the first time the federal government identified specific culprits and included a wealth of information. Washington Post, "Evidence against Russians might never see the light of day," 3 Mar. 2018 Curlers need to have strong core muscles and upper body strength in order to manage the often rigorous sweeping that helps them guide the rock down the ice. Bloomberg.com, "Doping Charge Could Hurt Russia's Chance At Reinstatement," 19 Feb. 2018 Curlers need to have strong core muscles and upper body strength in order to manage the often rigorous sweeping that helps them guide the rock down the ice. Time, "A Russian Curling Medalist Has Been Charged With Doping at the PyeongChang Olympics," 19 Feb. 2018 Curlers need to have strong core muscles and upper body strength in order to manage the often rigorous sweeping that helps them guide the rock down the ice. Kristen Gelineau, Houston Chronicle, "Olympic curling world stunned by Russian doping scandal," 19 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Their losses were more sweeping than either party had imagined possible. Fred Barnes, WSJ, "The Downside of Anti-Trump Rage," 22 Jan. 2019 Abiy, Ethiopia's first prime minister from the Oromo ethnic group, has announced sweeping and largely popular reforms since taking office in April, but ethnic tensions in Africa's second most populous country pose his biggest challenge. Elias Meseret, Fox News, "Ethiopia charges 5 with terrorism over assassination attempt," 28 Sep. 2018 So negotiations focused on Ehrlich's own less sweeping—but still quite significant—bill to rein in abuse of noncompete clauses. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Massachusetts gives workers new protections against noncompete clauses," 21 Aug. 2018 While Uber and Lyft may be able to stomach a pause in what is Uber’s largest market in the U.S., attempts to replicate these bills in other places may prove to be much more overbearing or sweeping than those passed today in New York. Johana Bhuiyan, Recode, "Uber lost in NYC. But here’s the real problem.," 8 Aug. 2018 Their answers point toward some of the most sweeping changes to the nation’s railroad system in decades. Paul Ziobro, WSJ, "A Revolution Sweeping Railroads Upends How America Moves Its Stuff," 3 Apr. 2019 Gillers described Avenatti's media presence as highly unusual for an American lawyer, not only because of his frequent television appearances but also because his arguments are more sweeping than his client's narrow complaint. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "Stormy Daniels' lawyer using Trump's style against Trump, a strategy that comes with risks," 15 May 2018 Batch Winery, known for its bubblies, offers sweeping views of the valley and vines below, while the road just in front of Jurassic Ridge and Mud Brick vineyards is the perfect spot to capture Auckland’s skyline. Andrea Bartz, Marie Claire, "The Instagram Guide to Auckland, New Zealand," 11 Feb. 2019 What the combo leads to is a sweeping double-sided collection of vague disses and explicit references, leaving fans with general confirmation (yes, there’s a mini Drake in the world), while keeping cryptic on the remaining details. Natalie Maher, Billboard, "Drake's 9 Best Call-Outs on 'Scorpion'," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sweeping.' 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 sweeping

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1573, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for sweeping

Last Updated

12 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sweeping

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

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More Definitions for sweeping

sweeping

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sweeping

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an act of cleaning an area with a broom or brush

sweeping

adjective

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

: including or involving many things : wide in range or amount
disapproving : too general : including or involving too many things or people
: having a curving form : forming a curve

sweeping

adjective
sweep·​ing | \ ˈswē-piŋ\

Kids Definition of sweeping

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : moving or extending in a wide curve or over a wide area a sweeping driveway Jason dodged the sweeping blade.— Lloyd Alexander, Time Cat
2 : extensive sweeping changes

sweeping

noun

Kids Definition of sweeping (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of cleaning an area with a broom or brush
2 sweepings plural : things collected by sweeping

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More from Merriam-Webster on sweeping

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sweeping

Spanish Central: Translation of sweeping

Nglish: Translation of sweeping for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sweeping for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sweeping

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