Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To clean or clear, as of dirt, with a broom or brush.
  • intransitive verb To clear away with a broom or brush.
  • intransitive verb To clear (a path or space) with a broom or brush.
  • intransitive verb To search thoroughly.
  • intransitive verb To search for and remove (electronic eavesdropping devices) from a place.
  • intransitive verb To touch or brush lightly, as with a trailing garment.
  • intransitive verb To pass over or through a surface or medium with a continuous movement.
  • intransitive verb To clear, drive, or convey with relentless force.
  • intransitive verb To wipe out at a single stroke. Often used with away.
  • intransitive verb To remove or carry off with a swift brushing motion.
  • intransitive verb To move across or through swiftly or broadly.
  • intransitive verb To pass quickly across, as when searching.
  • intransitive verb To drag the bottom of (a body of water).
  • intransitive verb To win all games in (a series) or all stages of (a contest).
  • intransitive verb To win overwhelmingly in.
  • intransitive verb To clean or clear a surface with a broom or brush.
  • intransitive verb To search an area for something.
  • intransitive verb To search for and remove electronic eavesdropping devices.
  • intransitive verb To move swiftly or broadly.
  • intransitive verb To move swiftly in a lofty manner, as if in a trailing robe.
  • intransitive verb To trail, as a long garment.
  • intransitive verb To extend gracefully, especially in a long curve.
  • intransitive verb To extend in a wide range.
  • noun A clearing out or removal with a broom or brush.
  • noun A thorough search of an area.
  • noun A search for and removal of electronic eavesdropping devices, as in a room.
  • noun A wide curving motion.
  • noun A curve or contour that resembles the path of sweeping motion.
  • noun An extent or stretch.
  • noun Range or scope: synonym: range.
  • noun Football An end run in which one or more linemen leave the line of scrimmage and block in advance of the ball carrier.
  • noun One who sweeps, especially a chimney sweep.
  • noun Sweepings.
  • noun The winning of all stages of a game or contest.
  • noun An overwhelming victory or success.
  • noun A long oar used to propel a boat.
  • noun A long pole attached to a pivot and used to raise or lower a bucket in a well.
  • noun Informal Sweepstakes.
  • noun The period each fall, winter, and spring when television ratings are accrued and studied and advertising rates are reset.
  • noun The national survey of local stations that is conducted to determine these ratings.
  • noun The steady motion of an electron beam across a cathode-ray tube.
  • idiom (sweep (someone) off (someone's) feet) To cause someone to be admiring or infatuated.
  • idiom (sweep under the rug) To avoid discussing or dealing with (something negative or troubling).

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English swepen, perhaps from swepe, past tense of swopen, to sweep along; see swoop.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English swāpan. Cognate with Early Mod. West Frisian swiepe ("whip, cleanse, sweep"), from Old Frisian swēpa, suepa ("sweep"). see also swoop.

Examples

Comments

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  • Cricket jargon - a stroke in which the batsman hits the ball square of the wicket on the leg side, usually by sweeping the ball around his pads. Can only be played effectively against slow bowling.

    December 8, 2007