- 1 [transitive, intransitive] to clean a room, surface, etc. using a broom (= a type of brush on a long handle) sweep (something) to sweep the floor Chimneys should be swept regularly. sweep something + adj. The showroom had been emptied and swept clean.
- 2 [transitive] sweep something + adv./prep. to remove something from a surface using a brush, your hand, etc. She swept the crumbs into the wastebasket. He swept the leaves up into a pile. She swept the clothes onto the floor and invited him to sit down. move quickly/with force
- 3[transitive] sweep somebody/something + adv./prep. to move or push somebody/something suddenly and with a lot of force The little boat was swept out to sea. Their tent was swept away in the storm. She let herself be swept along by the crowd.
- 4[intransitive, transitive] (of weather, fire, etc.) to move suddenly and/or with force over an area or in a particular direction + adv./prep. Rain swept in through the broken windows. A fire swept through the store on Tuesday night. sweep something Strong winds regularly sweep the islands. of a person
- 5[intransitive] + adv./prep. to move quickly and/or smoothly, especially in a way that impresses or is intended to impress other people Without another word she swept out of the room. (figurative) He swept into the lead with an almost perfect performance.
- 6[transitive] sweep something + adv./prep. to move something, especially your hand or arm, quickly and smoothly in a particular direction He rushed to greet her, sweeping his arms wide. of feelings
- 7[intransitive] + adv./prep. to suddenly affect somebody strongly A wave of tiredness swept over her. Memories came sweeping back. of ideas/fashions
- 8[intransitive, transitive] to spread quickly + adv./prep. Rumours of his resignation swept through the company. sweep something the latest craze sweeping America look/move over area
- 9[intransitive, transitive] to move over an area, especially in order to look for something + adv./prep. His eyes swept around the room. The car headlights swept across the front of the building. sweep something Searchlights swept the sky. She swept the crowd with her binoculars. touch surface
- 10[transitive] sweep something to move, or move something, over a surface, touching it lightly Her dress swept the ground as she walked. hair
- 11[transitive] sweep something + adv./prep. to brush, comb, etc. your hair in a particular direction Her hair was swept back from her face. See related entries: Styling hair of landscape
- 12[intransitive] + adv./prep. to form a long smooth curve The hotel gardens sweep down to the beach. in sport
- 13[transitive] sweep something (North American English) to win all the games in a series of games against another team or all the parts of a contest The Blue Jays have a chance to sweep the series. New Jersey swept Detroit last season. Word Origin Old English swāpan (verb), of Germanic origin; related to German schweifen
with brush or hand
verbjump to other results
BrE BrE//swiːp//; NAmE NAmE//swiːp//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they sweep
BrE BrE//swiːp//; NAmE NAmE//swiːp//he / she / it sweeps
BrE BrE//swiːps//; NAmE NAmE//swiːps//past simple swept
BrE BrE//swept//; NAmE NAmE//swept//past participle swept
BrE BrE//swept//; NAmE NAmE//swept//-ing form sweeping
BrE BrE//ˈswiːpɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈswiːpɪŋ//Styling hair
to try to stop people from finding out about something wrong, illegal, embarrassing, etc. that has happened or that you have done An earlier report, implicating the government, had been conveniently swept under the carpet. Phrasal Verbssweep somebody alongsweep somethingasidesweep somethingawaysweep somethingoutsweep somebodyup