\ 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

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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


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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
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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

Instead of making individual sweets, press this classic candy into a loaf pan and coat with pistachios for an easy spring treat. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Divinity Candy," 7 Mar. 2019 In addition to heading to church, many honor the beginning of Lent by choosing to give up something for the 40 days, such as alcohol, sweets, or even swearing. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "When is Lent? Here's Everything You Need to Know About the Christian Holiday," 13 Feb. 2019 The sweets and confections here range from delicious Meringue Shells with Coffee Ice Cream and Orange-Chocolate Sauce to Satsuma Cake with Mascarpone Cream. Jennifer Milne, ELLE Decor, "How to Throw a New Orleans-Style Fete, According to Julia Reed," 11 Apr. 2019 Kylie made sure no guest would go hungry, offering a large array of sweets, including a cookie featuring the youngster's face, which is very similar to the Kylie cookies given away at her 21st birthday last year. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Every Detail You Missed at Kylie Jenner’s Daughter’s Outrageous First Birthday Party," 11 Feb. 2019 Venus wants to eat decadent sweets, take six-hour baths, and be fanned by gigantic palm leaves. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What the Position of Venus in Your Birth Chart Means for You," 31 July 2018 Newsagents’ doorways glitter with packets of sweets and crisps. The Economist, "As rich children slim down, poor ones are getting fatter," 31 May 2018 Coasterra’s Champagne Buffet Brunch offers made-to-order omelet station, a carving station, soups and salads, house specials and sweets and pastries display. Carolina Gusman, sandiegouniontribune.com, "117 ways to celebrate mom: Your San Diego guide to Mother's Day brunches, lunches and dinners," 7 May 2018 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

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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries near sweet






sweet acacia

sweet alyssum

Statistics for sweet

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sweet

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

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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 entry 2 sense 2, sour entry 1

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

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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 speak slightingly about or to degrade

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