Definitions

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

  • adjective Having wide-ranging influence or effect.
  • adjective Moving in or as if in a wide curve.
  • adjective Indiscriminate; wholesale.
  • adjective Overwhelming; complete.
  • noun The action of one that sweeps.
  • noun Things swept up; refuse.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of one who or that which sweeps, in any sense; also, the result of such act.
  • noun plural Whatever is gathered together by or as by sweeping; rubbish; refuse.
  • noun Specifically— In stereotyping and electrotyping, the bits of metal thrown on the floor by sawing- and planing-machines.
  • noun In printing, the waste paper swept up from the floor of a press-room.
  • noun In bookbinding, the bits of gold-leaf gathered up by the cotton cloth that is used to remove the surplus gold of a gilded book.
  • Carrying everything before it; overwhelming: as, a sweeping majority.
  • Including or comprehending many individuals or particulars in a single act or assertion; comprehensive; all-including: as, a sweeping charge; a sweeping declaration.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Cleaning off surfaces, or cleaning away dust, dirt, or litter, as a broom does; moving with swiftness and force; carrying everything before it; including in its scope many persons or things

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb Present participle of sweep.
  • noun countable An instance of sweeping.
  • noun uncountable The activity of sweeping.
  • adjective wide, broad, affecting many things
  • adjective Completely overwhelming

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the act of cleaning with a broom
  • adjective ignoring distinctions
  • adjective taking in or moving over (or as if over) a wide area; often used in combination

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • If a moiety of sweeping the kennel from the Mews-gate to the Irish coffee-house opposite to it, could fetch a good price, and I was a witness once that it did, to an unfortunate beggar-woman, who was obliged by sickness to part with half of it; what might not a beggar expect, who had the _sweeping_ of the _Pont du Gard_; or a monk, who erected a confessional box near it for the benefit of _himself_, and the fouls of poor travellers?

    A Year's Journey through France and Part of Spain, 1777 Volume 1 (of 2)

  • The government in July said it would set up a regulator outside of the ministry and in August, the previous minister, Banri Kaieda, fired the country's top energy bureaucrats in what he called "sweeping" changes.

    BusinessWeek.com -- Top News

  • The girls 'father, Giuseppe De Vito, disappeared in 2006 when the RCMP issued a warrant for his arrest as part of what they called a sweeping crackdown on organized crime.

    The Chronicle Herald - Maintenance Feed

  • The girls 'father, Giuseppe De Vito, has been missing since 2006 when the Mounties issued a warrant for his arrest as part of what they called a sweeping crackdown on organized crime.

    CTV News RSS Feed

  • The girls 'father, Giuseppe De Vito, has been missing since 2006 when the Mounties issued a warrant for his arrest as part of what they called a sweeping crackdown on organized crime.

    Ottawa Sun

  • The girls 'father, Giuseppe De Vito, disappeared in 2006 when the RCMP issued a warrant for his arrest as part of what they called a sweeping crackdown on organized crime.

    The Chronicle Herald - Front Page Stories

  • The girls 'father, Giuseppe De Vito, disappeared in 2006 after the RCMP issued a warrant for his arrest on drug charges as part of what they called a sweeping crackdown on organized crime.

    Ottawa Sun

  • The progressives played a huge role in sweeping Democrats into power.

    Pelosi: House won't take up Michael Jackson resolution

  • The example of the Prince of Wales has been largely instrumental in sweeping away the old restrictions.

    Smoking Etiquette | Edwardian Promenade

  • Our system of bicameralism, and the staggered elections for the Senate – were both designed to prevent a single big-bang election from resulting in sweeping changes (unlike a Parliamentary system, e.g., the U.K. after the 1945 election).

    Actually, I agree with both Reynolds *and* Yglesias. - Moe_Lane’s blog - RedState

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