- To sweep is to clear an area by brushing something away, to make a comprehensive search of a place, or to brush across or move gracefully along.
- When you use a broom to clear away dirt on the floor, this is an example of sweep.
- When your eyes scan an entire crowd, this is an example of a situation where you sweep the crowd.
- When your skirt brushes against the floor, this is an example of a situation where it sweeps along the floor.
- When you glide into a room gradually and regally, this is an example of a situation where you sweep the room.
sweep definition by Webster's New World
- to clear or clean (a surface, room, etc.) as by brushing with a broom
- to remove or clear away (dirt, debris, etc.) as with a broom or brushing movement
- to clear (a space, path, etc.) with or as with a broom
- to strip, clear, carry away, remove, or destroy with a forceful movement or movements
- to move or carry along with a sweeping movement: to sweep one's hand through one's hair
- to touch or brush in moving across: hands sweeping the keyboard
- to pass swiftly over or across; traverse, as in search: searchlights sweeping the sky
- to direct (the eyes, a glance, etc.) over something swiftly
- to drag (a river, pond, etc.) with a net, grapple, etc.
- to clear (the sea, etc.) with a mine sweeper
- to direct gunfire along; rake
- to win all the games or events of (a series, set, or match)
- to win overwhelmingly: to sweep an election
Origin: Middle English swepen, akin to (or uncertain or unknown; perhaps altered ; from) Old English swapan: see swoop
- to clean a surface, room, etc. with or as with a broom or the like
- to move, pass, or progress steadily or smoothly, esp. with speed, force, or gracefulness: planes sweeping across the sky, music sweeping to a climax
- to trail, as skirts or the train of a gown
- to reach or extend in a long, graceful curve or line: a road sweeping up the hill
- the act of sweeping, as with a broom
- a continuous sweeping or driving movement: the sweep of a scythe
- a stroke or blow resulting from this
- a trailing, as of skirts
- range or scope: within the sweep of their guns
- extent or range; stretch; reach: a long sweep of meadow
- a line, contour, curve, etc. that gives an impression of flow or movement
- a person whose work is sweeping; specif., chimney sweep
- things swept up; sweepings
- the taking or winning of all; complete victory or success, as in a series of contests
- in casino, the taking of all the cards on the board, by pairing or combining
- in whist, the winning of all the tricks in one deal
- a long oar
- a long pole mounted on a pivot, with a bucket at one end, used for raising water, as from a well
- ☆ a blade or plow-point of various widths, used in the shallow cultivation of row crops
- a sail of a windmill
- Electronics one transit of an electron beam across the screen of a cathode-ray tube, moving either horizontally from line to line, as in a picture tube, or circularly around a center point, as in a radarscope
- Football a play in which the ball carrier runs a relatively long way toward a sideline before turning toward the line of scrimmage
- Radio, TV, Informal
- a national rating survey of local stations for determining advertising rates
- the period during which the survey is conducted
sweep definition by American Heritage Dictionary
verb swept swept , sweep·ing, sweeps sweeps verb, transitive
- To clean or clear, as of dirt, with or as if with a broom or brush: sweep a chimney.
- To clear away with or as if with a broom or brush: swept snow from the steps.
- To clear (a path or space) with or as if with a broom.
- a. To search thoroughly: The counselors swept the dormitory during the fire drill.b. Electronics To search for and remove (eavesdropping devices) from a place: swept the room for bugs.
- To touch or brush lightly, as with a trailing garment: willow branches sweeping the ground.
- To pass over or through a surface or medium with a continuous movement: He swept the sponge over the tile. The conductor swept her baton through the air.
- To clear, drive, or convey with relentless force: The flood waters swept away everything in their path.
- To wipe out at a single stroke. Often used with away: The incident in effect swept away all her dreams.
- To remove or carry off with a swift brushing motion: swept the cards off the table; swept the child into his arms.
- To move across or through swiftly or with great intensity: News of the lunar landing swept the country.
- To pass quickly across, as when searching: His gaze swept the horizon.
- To drag the bottom of (a body of water).
- a. To win all games in (a series) or stages of (a contest): swept the World Series.b. To win overwhelmingly in: The opposition party swept the election.
- To clean or clear a surface with or as if with a broom or brush.
- Electronics To search for and remove eavesdropping devices.
- To move swiftly with strong, steady force: The wind swept over the plain.
- To move swiftly in a lofty manner, as if in a trailing robe: She swept by in silence.
- To trail, as a long garment.
- To extend gracefully, especially in a long curve: The hills sweep down to the sea.
- To extend in a wide range: Searchlights swept across the sky.
- A clearing out or removal with or as if with a broom or brush.
- Electronics The act or an instance of searching for and removing eavesdropping devices, as in a room.
- a. A wide curving motion: a sweep of the arm.b. The range or scope encompassed by sweeping: the sweep of a lantern beam. See Synonyms at range.
- A broad reach or extent: a sweep of green lawn.
- A curve or contour: the sweep of her hair.
- Football An end run in which one or more linemen leave the line of scrimmage and block in advance of the ball carrier.
- One who sweeps, especially a chimney sweep.
- Sweepings. Often used in the plural.
- a. The winning of all stages of a game or contest.b. An overwhelming victory or success.
- Nautical A long oar used to propel a boat.
- A long pole attached to a pivot and used to raise or lower a bucket in a well.
- sweeps (used with a sing. or pl. verb) Informal Sweepstakes.
- a. sweeps The period each fall, winter, and spring when television ratings are accrued and studied and advertising rates are reset.b. The national survey of local stations that is conducted to determine these ratings.
- Electronics The steady motion of an electron beam across a cathode-ray tube.
Origin: Middle English swepen, perhaps from swepe, past tense of swopen, to sweep along; see swoop.
sweep - Business Definition
sweep - Investment & Finance Definition
sweep - Phrases/Idioms
sweep (one) off (one's) feet