Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “sweep”

sweep

verb uk   /swiːp/ (swept, swept) us  

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

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.

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   /swiːp/ us  

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?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Neglecting and ignoring, but you might be interested in these topics from the Attention and care topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “sweep” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

light at the end of the tunnel

signs of improvement in a situation that has been bad for a long time, or signs that a long and difficult piece of work is almost finished

Word of the Day

The language of work

by Kate Woodford,
October 15, 2014
Most of us talk about our jobs. We tell our family and friends interesting or funny things that have happened in the workplace (=room where we do our job), we describe – and sometimes complain about – our bosses and colleagues and when we meet someone for the first time, we tell

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More