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.
The incident in effect swept away all her dreams.
Swept the cards off the table; swept the child into his arms.
News of the lunar landing swept the country.
Willow branches sweeping the ground.
The counselors swept the dormitory during the fire drill.
Swept the room for bugs.
Swept the World Series.
The opposition party swept the election.
The wind swept over the plain.
She swept by in silence.
The hills sweep down to the sea.
Searchlights swept across the sky.
A sweep of green lawn.
The broad sweep of history.
A police sweep for drug dealers.
A sweep of the arm.
The sweep of her hair.
To sweep one's hand through one's hair.
Hands sweeping the keyboard.
Searchlights sweeping the sky, a fad that is sweeping the nation.
To sweep an election.
Planes sweeping across the sky, music sweeping to a climax.
A road sweeping up the hill.
Within the sweep of their guns.
A long sweep of meadow.
The sweep of a scythe.
The wind sweeps across the plain.
The offended countess swept out of the ballroom.
Their long descending train, / With rubies edged and sapphires, swept the plain.
To sweep the bottom of a river with a net.
To sweep the heavens with a telescope.
Sweep a chimney.
Swept snow from the steps.
He swept the sponge over the tile. The conductor swept her baton through the air.
The flood waters swept away everything in their path.
His gaze swept the horizon.
- To cause someone to be admiring or infatuated.
- To avoid discussing or dealing with (something negative or troubling).
Other Word Forms
Idioms and Phrasal Verbs
Origin of sweep
- Middle English swepen perhaps from swepe past tense of swopen to sweep along swoop
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Old English swāpan. Cognate with Early Mod. West Frisian swiepe (“whip, cleanse, sweep"), from Old Frisian swÄ“pa, suepa (“sweep"). see also swoop.