Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “sweep”

See all translations

sweep

verb  /swip/ ( past tense and past participle swept  /swept/) us  

sweep verb (CLEAN)

[I/T] to clean a floor or other surface by using a brush to collect the dirt into one place from which it can be removed: [T] She sweeps the street in front of her house. [M] The classroom is filthy – could you sweep it out? [I] I swept under every piece of furniture.

sweep verb (REMOVE)

[T always + adv/prep] to remove or take something in a particular direction, esp. suddenly and with force: She paused, sweeping a hair from her brow. [M] Floodwaters were sweeping away gardens and driving residents to higher ground.

sweep verb (MOVE)

[I/T] to move quickly and sometimes forcefully: [I always + adv/prep] A stiff breeze swept across the parking lot. [I always + adv/prep] He would sweep through the room shaking hands with everyone. [T] Our headlights were sweeping the trees ahead.

sweep verb (WIN)

[T] to win all the parts of a competition: New York swept their series with Vancouver, 3-0.

sweep

noun [C]  /swip/ us  

sweep noun [C] (MOVEMENT)

a large movement across an area: the sweep of the clock’s hour hand a police sweep The sweep of an idea or piece of writing is the range of its subject: He is aware of the epic sweep of this project.

sweep noun [C] (WIN)

the fact of winning everything that is available or all parts of a competition: She prevented Republicans from making a clean sweep of the election by winning the race in District 27.
(Definition of sweep from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of sweep?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “sweep” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

pot luck

anything that is available or is found by chance, rather than something chosen, planned, or prepared

Word of the Day

Think long and hard; the language of decisions

by Liz Walter,
January 28, 2015
One of the best ways (perhaps the best way) to improve your English is to learn how words go together in phrases, idioms, or other patterns such as verb/noun or adjective/noun pairs (often called ‘collocations’). This blog looks at some useful phrases and collocations connected with the subject of decisions, something we

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More