AskDefine | Define sweep

Dictionary Definition



1 a wide scope; "the sweep of the plains" [syn: expanse]
2 someone who cleans soot from chimneys [syn: chimneysweeper, chimneysweep]
3 winning all or all but one of the tricks in bridge [syn: slam]
4 a long oar used in an open boat [syn: sweep oar]
5 (American football) an attempt to advance the ball by running around the end of the line [syn: end run]
6 a movement in an arc; "a sweep of his arm"


1 sweep across or over; "Her long skirt brushed the floor"; "A gasp swept cross the audience" [syn: brush]
2 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" [syn: sail]
3 sweep with a broom or as if with a broom; "Sweep the crumbs off the table"; "Sweep under the bed" [syn: broom]
4 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" [syn: embroil, tangle, sweep up, drag, drag in]
5 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" [syn: cross, traverse, span]
6 clean by sweeping; "Please sweep the floor"
7 win an overwhelming victory in or on; "Her new show dog swept all championships"
8 cover the entire range of
9 make a big sweeping gesture or movement [syn: swing, swing out] [also: swept]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • , /swiːp/, /swi:p/


From swāpan; see also swoop.


  1. To clean (a floor, etc) using a broom or brush.
  2. To move through an (horizontal) arc or similar long stroke.
    • 2005, Plato, Sophist. Translation by Lesley Brown. 236d.
      has the course of the argument so accustomed you to agreeing that you were swept by it into a ready assent?
  3. To search (a place) methodically.
  4. To play a sweep shot.
  5. To brush the ice in front of a moving stone, causing it to travel farther and to curl less.
  6. To move something in a particular motion, as a broom


to clean (a floor, etc) using a broom or brush
to move through an arc or similar long stroke
  • Irish: scuab
  • Japanese: 掃引する (sōin-suru)
search (a place) methodically
cricket: play a sweep shot
curling: brush the ice in curling
to move something in a certain motion


  1. The person who steers a dragon boat.
  2. A person who stands at the stern of a surf boat, steering with a steering oar and commanding the crew.
  3. A chimney sweep.
  4. A search (typically for bugs [electronic listening devices]).
  5. A batsman's shot, played from a kneeling position with a swinging horizontal bat.
  6. 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. A flow of water parallel to shore caused by wave action at an ocean beach or at a point or headland.

Derived terms


person who steers a dragon boat
chimney sweep See chimney sweep
a search for bugs (electronic listening devices)
type of shot in cricket


Extensive Definition

Sweep may refer to any of the following:



  • A kind of oar used for guiding bateaus and similar boats
  • In sport rowing, a boat that has only one oar per rower



Other meanings

sweep in German: Fegen
sweep in Spanish: Basura (desambiguación)
sweep in Japanese: スウィープ
sweep in Swedish: Fegen

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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