sweep definition, meaning - what is sweep in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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 uk   us   /swiːp/ (swept, swept)

sweep verb (CLEAN)

B2 [T] to clean especially a floor by using a brush to collect the dirt into one place from which it can be removed: sweep the floor
More examples

sweep verb (MOVE)

C2 [I + adv/prep] to move, especially quickly and powerfully: Everyone looked up as she swept into the room. The fire swept (= spread quickly) through the house. The National Party swept into power (= easily won the election) with a majority of almost 200. [T] to quickly spread through and influence an area: A 1970s fashion revival is sweeping Europe. [T] to travel across all of an area, especially when looking for something: American minesweepers are sweeping the Arabian Sea. [I usually + adv/prep] If a road, river, range of mountains, set of steps, etc. sweeps in a particular direction, they follow a particular curved path: The road sweeps down to the coast.
More examples

sweep verb (REMOVE)

B2 [T usually + adv/prep] to remove and/or take in a particular direction, especially in a fast and powerful way: A large wave swept away half the sandcastle. She swept the pile of papers and books into her bag. The boat was swept out to sea (= away from land) by the tide. Government troops swept aside the rebel forces (= caused them to move away from the area in which they were).

sweep verb (WIN)

[T] US informal to win all the parts of a competition, or to win very easily: The Yankees swept a four-game series from the Blue Jays.

sweep

noun uk   us   /swiːp/

sweep noun (CLEAN)

[C usually singular] the act of sweeping something to clean it: I've given the kitchen floor a sweep (= I have swept it). [C] old-fashioned for chimney sweep

sweep noun (MOVEMENT)

[C] a movement, especially a quick, powerful one or one to search an area: With a sweep (= horizontal movement) of its tail, the alligator knocked her under the water. [C] a long, often curved, area of land, sea, river, etc.: A broad sweep of flat countryside stretched to the horizon in all directions.sweeps [plural] US a period of time when measurements of the number of people watching different television stations are made so that the cost of advertising on each station can be set

sweep noun (WIN)

a clean sweep a situation in which one player, team, etc. wins everything that is available: Romania made a clean sweep of the medals.
(Definition of sweep from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © 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

kick off

the time when a game of football starts, or when it begins again after it has stopped because of a goal, etc.

Word of the Day

She’s got very good posture. (How we stand and sit)

by Liz Walter,
May 27, 2015
Recently on this blog, we looked at the words that we use to describe the way we move. This week we’re looking at words for describing our bodies when they are still, whether we are standing or sitting. Since most of us do far too much of this, let’s start with sitting.

Read More 

ancestral health noun

May 25, 2015
diet based on the presumed diet of our Palaeolithic ancestors ‘Ancestral health,’ to use a term popular among Paleo followers, has gone mass.

Read More