What does sweep mean?

Definitions for sweep

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word sweep.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. sweep, expansenoun

    a wide scope

    "the sweep of the plains"

  2. chimneysweeper, chimneysweep, sweepnoun

    someone who cleans soot from chimneys

  3. slam, sweepnoun

    winning all or all but one of the tricks in bridge

  4. sweep, sweep oarnoun

    a long oar used in an open boat

  5. end run, sweepnoun

    (American football) an attempt to advance the ball by running around the end of the line

  6. sweepverb

    a movement in an arc

    "a sweep of his arm"

  7. brush, sweepverb

    sweep across or over

    "Her long skirt brushed the floor"; "A gasp swept cross the audience"

  8. sweep, sailverb

    move with sweeping, effortless, gliding motions

    "The diva swept into the room"; "Shreds of paper sailed through the air"; "The searchlights swept across the sky"

  9. sweep, broomverb

    sweep with a broom or as if with a broom

    "Sweep the crumbs off the table"; "Sweep under the bed"

  10. embroil, tangle, sweep, sweep up, drag, drag inverb

    force into some kind of situation, condition, or course of action

    "They were swept up by the events"; "don't drag me into this business"

  11. cross, traverse, span, sweepverb

    to cover or extend over an area or time period

    "Rivers traverse the valley floor", "The parking lot spans 3 acres"; "The novel spans three centuries"

  12. sweepverb

    clean by sweeping

    "Please sweep the floor"

  13. sweepverb

    win an overwhelming victory in or on

    "Her new show dog swept all championships"

  14. sweepverb

    cover the entire range of

  15. swing, sweep, swing outverb

    make a big sweeping gesture or movement


  1. sweepnoun

    The person who steers a dragon boat.

  2. sweepnoun

    A person who stands at the stern of a surf boat, steering with a steering oar and commanding the crew.

  3. sweepnoun

    A chimney sweep.

  4. sweepnoun

    A search (typically for bugs [electronic listening devices]).

  5. sweepnoun

    A batsman's shot, played from a kneeling position with a swinging horizontal bat.

  6. sweepnoun

    A lottery, usually on the results of a sporting event, where players win if their randomly chosen team wins.

    Jim will win fifty dollars in the office sweep if Japan wins the World Cup.

  7. sweepnoun

    A flow of water parallel to shore caused by wave action at an ocean beach or at a point or headland.

  8. sweepnoun

    A single action of sweeping.

  9. sweepverb

    To clean (a surface) by means of a stroking motion of a broom or brush.

  10. sweepverb

    To move through an (horizontal) arc or similar long stroke.

  11. sweepverb

    To search (a place) methodically.

  12. sweepverb

    To travel quickly.

  13. sweepverb

    To play a sweep shot.

  14. sweepverb

    To brush the ice in front of a moving stone, causing it to travel farther and to curl less.

  15. sweepverb

    To move something in a particular motion, as a broom

  16. sweepverb

    To win (a series) without drawing or losing any of the games in that series.

  17. sweepverb

    To defeat (a team) in a series without drawing or losing any of the games in that series.

  18. Etymology: From swapan; see also swoop.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Sweepverb

    to pass a broom across (a surface) so as to remove loose dirt, dust, etc.; to brush, or rub over, with a broom for the purpose of cleaning; as, to sweep a floor, the street, or a chimney. Used also figuratively

  2. Sweepverb

    to drive or carry along or off with a broom or a brush, or as if with a broom; to remove by, or as if by, brushing; as, to sweep dirt from a floor; the wind sweeps the snow from the hills; a freshet sweeps away a dam, timber, or rubbish; a pestilence sweeps off multitudes

  3. Sweepverb

    to brush against or over; to rub lightly along

  4. Sweepverb

    to carry with a long, swinging, or dragging motion; hence, to carry in a stately or proud fashion

  5. Sweepverb

    to strike with a long stroke

  6. Sweepverb

    to draw or drag something over; as, to sweep the bottom of a river with a net

  7. Sweepverb

    to pass over, or traverse, with the eye or with an instrument of observation; as, to sweep the heavens with a telescope

  8. Sweepverb

    to clean rooms, yards, etc., or to clear away dust, dirt, litter, etc., with a broom, brush, or the like

  9. Sweepverb

    to brush swiftly over the surface of anything; to pass with switness and force, as if brushing the surface of anything; to move in a stately manner; as, the wind sweeps across the plain; a woman sweeps through a drawing-room

  10. Sweepverb

    to pass over anything comprehensively; to range through with rapidity; as, his eye sweeps through space

  11. Sweepnoun

    the act of sweeping

  12. Sweepnoun

    the compass or range of a stroke; as, a long sweep

  13. Sweepnoun

    the compass of any turning body or of any motion; as, the sweep of a door; the sweep of the eye

  14. Sweepnoun

    the compass of anything flowing or brushing; as, the flood carried away everything within its sweep

  15. Sweepnoun

    violent and general destruction; as, the sweep of an epidemic disease

  16. Sweepnoun

    direction and extent of any motion not rectlinear; as, the sweep of a compass

  17. Sweepnoun

    direction or departure of a curve, a road, an arch, or the like, away from a rectlinear line

  18. Sweepnoun

    one who sweeps; a sweeper; specifically, a chimney sweeper

  19. Sweepnoun

    a movable templet for making molds, in loam molding

  20. Sweepnoun

    the mold of a ship when she begins to curve in at the rungheads; any part of a ship shaped in a segment of a circle

  21. Sweepnoun

    a large oar used in small vessels, partly to propel them and partly to steer them

  22. Sweepnoun

    the almond furnace

  23. Sweepnoun

    a long pole, or piece of timber, moved on a horizontal fulcrum fixed to a tall post and used to raise and lower a bucket in a well for drawing water

  24. Sweepnoun

    in the game of casino, a pairing or combining of all the cards on the board, and so removing them all; in whist, the winning of all the tricks (thirteen) in a hand; a slam

  25. Sweepnoun

    the sweeping of workshops where precious metals are worked, containing filings, etc

  26. Etymology: [OE. swepen; akin to AS. swpan. See Swoop, v. i.]


  1. Sweep

    Sweep is a series of young adult fantasy novels written by Cate Tiernan, the first of which, Book of Shadows, was published in 2001. The series follows a teenage girl, Morgan Rowlands, who discovers she is the descendant of a long line of witches, and possesses powerful magick of her own.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Sweep

    swēp, v.t. to wipe or rub over with a brush or broom: to carry along or off by a long brushing stroke or force: to destroy or carry off at a stroke: to strike with a long stroke: to carry with pomp: to drag over: to pass rapidly over.—v.i. to pass swiftly and forcibly: to pass with pomp: to move with a long reach:—pa.t. and pa.p. swept.—n. act of sweeping: extent of a stroke, or of anything turning or in motion: prevalence, range: direction of a curve: the act of bringing into a general movement: rapid or wide-spread destructiveness: a curved approach before a building: a chimney-sweeper: (pl.) oars of great length used during a calm or in still water, either to assist the rudder or to propel the vessel.—n. Sweep′er.—adv. Sweep′ingly, in a sweeping manner.—n. Sweep′ingness.—n.pl. Sweep′ings, things collected by sweeping: rubbish.—ns. Sweep′-net, a net that embraces a large compass: Sweep′stake (Shak.), one who wins all—usually in pl. Sweep′stakes, a method of gambling by which several persons contribute each certain stakes, the whole of which fall to one in case of a certain event happening; Sweep′-wash′er, one who scrapes a little gold or silver from the sweepings of refineries.—adj. Sweep′y, swaying, sweeping, curving. [A.S. swápan; Ger. schweifen, Cf. Swoop.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. sweep

    The trending or inclination of a coast to a crescent. Also, that part of the mould of a ship, where she begins to compass in the rung-heads. Also, a large kind of oar.--To sweep a coast. To sail along at a reasonable distance with a vigilant inspection.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. sweep

    To clear or brush away; as, the cannon swept everything before it.

Editors Contribution

  1. sweep

    To maintain or clean with a specific type of brush.

    They did sweep the floors a few times a week.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 27, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. sweep

    Song lyrics by sweep -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by sweep on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'sweep' in Verbs Frequency: #552

How to pronounce sweep?

How to say sweep in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of sweep in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of sweep in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of sweep in a Sentence

  1. Glenn Youngkin:

    Terry McAuliffe is driving 45 miles an hour down Interstate 66, and I'm coming up 70 on the outside passing him, and I'm telling you what's about to happen : What's about to happen is we are going to sweep our statewide offices.

  2. Makoto Moore:

    This thunderstorm will produce all of the hazards of a normal thunderstorm : lightning, gusty and erratic winds, precipitation, etc., except much or all of the activity is hidden by the smoke column, firefighters on the ground may have very little warning before strong gusty winds sweep across an area.

  3. Robert F. Kennedy, South Africa, 1966:

    It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

  4. Mehmet Murat ildan:

    The giant wave of the science has no mercy; when this colossal wave comes, it will sweep away anything untrue!

  5. Charles Gladden:

    I just sweep, clean the bathroom, that type of stuff.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for sweep

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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    To make worse
    • A. suffuse
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