\ ˈswēt How to pronounce sweet (audio) \

Definition of sweet

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : being, inducing, or marked by the one of the five basic taste sensations that is usually pleasing to the taste and typically induced by sugars (as sucrose or glucose) — compare bitter entry 1 sense 1a, salty entry 1 sense 1b, sour entry 1 sense 1, umami entry 2
b(1) of a beverage : containing a sweetening ingredient : not dry
(2) of wine : retaining a portion of natural sugar
2a : pleasing to the mind or feelings : agreeable, gratifying often used as a generalized term of approval how sweet it is
b : marked by gentle good humor or kindliness a sweet disposition
c : fragrant a sweet aroma
d(1) : delicately pleasing to the ear or eye a sweet melody
(2) : played in a straightforward melodic style sweet jazz
f : very good or appealing a sweet job offer a sweet sports car
3 : much loved : dear
4a : not sour, rancid, decaying, or stale : wholesome sweet milk
b : not salt or salted : fresh sweet water sweet butter
c : free from excessive acidity used especially of soil
d : free from noxious gases and odors
e : free from excess of acid, sulfur, or corrosive salts sweet crude oil
5 : skillful, proficient a sweet golf swing
6 used as an intensive take your own sweet time
sweet on
: having a crush on



Definition of sweet (Entry 2 of 4)

: in a sweet manner



Definition of sweet (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : something that is sweet to the taste: such as
a : a food (such as a candy or preserve) having a high sugar content fill up on sweets
b British : dessert
c British : hard candy
2 : the pleasant taste sensation typically produced by sugars (such as sucrose or glucose) — compare bitter entry 2 sense 1b, salty entry 2, sour entry 2 sense 1b, umami entry 1
3 : a pleasant or gratifying experience, possession, or state
5a archaic : fragrance
b sweets plural, archaic : things having a sweet smell


biographical name
\ ˈswēt How to pronounce Sweet (audio) \

Definition of Sweet (Entry 4 of 4)

Henry 1845–1912 English phonetician

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from sweet


sweetly adverb
sweetness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for sweet

Synonyms: Adjective

beloved, cherished, darling, dear, fair-haired, favored, favorite, fond, loved, pet, precious, special, white-headed

Synonyms: Noun

confection, sweetmeat

Antonyms: Adjective


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of sweet in a Sentence


She likes her coffee sweet. That candy is too sweet. He's a really sweet guy. She has a sweet smile. It was sweet of her to take care of them.


I'm trying to cut down on sweets. remember to brush your teeth after eating sweets
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Our favorites: ▪ That $8.99 extra-dry prosecco, a little sweeter but lemony, perfect for tossing in an Aperol spritz on a fall afternoon. Kathleen Purvis, charlotteobserver, "Should you get excited about Lidl’s wines?," 25 Aug. 2017 Also here is a sweet drawing of Ms. Ashoona, her grandmother, standing slightly askew in a polka-dot kerchief and Nana Mouskouri-style eyeglasses. Jason Farago And Martha Schwendener, New York Times, "What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week," 24 Aug. 2017 A post shared by 송다니 (@songdani) on Oct 26, 2016 at 10:35am PDT For an unexpected, subtle look, tie a skinny scarf in a sweet little bow and let the ends cascade down the side of your outfit. 5. Kaitlin Menza, Redbook, "11 Fun, Fresh Ways to Wear a Scarf," 22 Aug. 2017 By some reckonings, there were few places that should have been as sweet to watch a total solar eclipse than St. Joseph. Rick Montgomery, Eric Adler, Scott Canon, Joe Robertson, David Frese, Jason Hancock, Judy Thomas, kansascity, "Whether soggy or sensational, total solar eclipse awes KC region," 21 Aug. 2017 Cloud cover threatens to reduce visibility in the central U.S., and threats of thunderstorms threaten the sweet views near Charleston, South Carolina. Jen Kirby, Daily Intelligencer, "A Procrastinator’s Guide to Catching the Solar Eclipse," 21 Aug. 2017 Doc Popcorn/Dippin' Dots brings sweet and savory together in Center Court across from Victoria's Secret. Bob Bong, Daily Southtown, "Durbins restaurant to call it quits in Summit," 15 Aug. 2017 Thanks to the fine folks at International Delight, your mornings are about to get a whole lot sweeter. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "International Delight Just Released a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Creamer, And No You’re Not Dreaming," 8 Aug. 2017 At least dear, sweet Pod will make an appearance in one of those 50 minutes. Matt Miller, Esquire, "Here's Some Bad News About the Next Game of Thrones Episode," 4 Aug. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Everything Is the Same, Only Different Much of this new intensity is devoted to food, and especially, sweets. András Szántó, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Budapest Is Europe's Unlikely Capital of Hedonism," 29 Aug. 2018 Chef and chocolatier José Ramón Castillo, the founder of Que Bo! chocolates, was in charge of the sweets. Brooke Porter Katz, Harper's BAZAAR, "Ellen Bennett & Casey Caplowe's Wedding Was Outside-The-Box in Every Way," 14 Feb. 2019 Cake Bake décor is luxury to the max, with sweets under glass domes, flowers everywhere and pastels evoking French opulence. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "18 new restaurants in Carmel, Noblesville, Westfield and Indianapolis' north side," 27 June 2018 There's no better way to celebrate America's birthday than with delicious sweets — donuts, ice cream, cakes, and more — decked out in the nation's official colors. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "25 Red, White, and Blue Desserts to Celebrate 4th of July," 13 June 2018 Executive chef Nelson Burgos said the restaurant is also offering customers the chance to smash piñatas shaped as caricatures of the two leaders that are filled with sweets. Washington Post, "Singapore Postcard: Trump cocktails, Kim tacos anyone?," 8 June 2018 Executive chef Nelson Burgos said the restaurant is also offering customers the chance to smash piñatas shaped as caricatures of the two leaders that are filled with sweets. Annabelle Liang, Fox News, "Singapore celebrating summit with Trump cocktails, Kim tacos," 8 June 2018 Food trucks and booths representing Mexican, Indian, Persian, Russian, Venezuelan and other heritage groups shared samples of traditional snacks and sweets. Gina Grillo, chicagotribune.com, "Celebration of Cultures aims to reflect diversity in the North Shore," 8 May 2018 Thirty minutes later, they were offered a buffet of pizza, snacks and sweets. Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times, "Binge Eating at Night? Your Hormones May Be to Blame," 30 Jan. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of sweet


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


13th century, in the meaning defined above


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sweet


Middle English swete, from Old English swēte; akin to Old High German suozi sweet, Latin suadēre to urge, suavis sweet, Greek hēdys

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sweet

Dictionary Entries near sweet






sweet acacia

sweet alyssum

Statistics for sweet

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sweet

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sweet



English Language Learners Definition of sweet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: containing a lot of sugar
: very gentle, kind, or friendly
chiefly British : very pretty or cute



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

: a food that contains a lot of sugar : a sweet food
British : a piece of candy
British : a sweet food served at the end of a meal


\ ˈswēt How to pronounce sweet (audio) \
sweeter; sweetest

Kids Definition of sweet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : containing or tasting of sugar sweet muffins
2 : having a pleasant sound, smell, or appearance a sweet fragrance sweet voices
3 : very gentle, kind, or friendly a sweet personality It was sweet of you to remember.
4 : pleasing to the mind or feelings : agreeable sweet memories
5 : much loved : dear my sweet child
6 : agreeable to oneself but not to others You took your sweet time!
7 : not sour, stale, or spoiled sweet milk
8 : not salt or salted sweet butter
9 : having a mild taste : not sharp sweet peppers
sweet on
: in love with

Other Words from sweet

sweetly adverb
sweetness noun



Kids Definition of sweet (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something (as candy) that contains or tastes of sugar


\ ˈswēt How to pronounce sweet (audio) \

Medical Definition of sweet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: being or inducing the one of the four basic taste sensations that is typically induced by disaccharides and is mediated especially by receptors in taste buds at the front of the tongue — compare bitter, salt sense 2, sour

Other Words from sweet

sweetness noun



Medical Definition of sweet (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something that is sweet to the taste especially : a food (as a candy or preserve) having a high sugar content don't fill up on sweets
2 : a sweet taste sensation

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on sweet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sweet

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sweet

Spanish Central: Translation of sweet

Nglish: Translation of sweet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sweet for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sweet

Comments on sweet

What made you want to look up sweet? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!