Definition of sweep noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//swiːp//
    ; NAmE NAmE//swiːp//
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    with brush
  1. 1[countable, usually singular] an act of cleaning a room, surface, etc. using a broom Give the room a good sweep.
  2. curving movement
  3. 2[countable] a smooth curving movement He indicated the door with a sweep of his arm.
  4. landscape
  5. 3[countable, usually singular] a long, often curved, piece of road, river, coast, etc. the broad sweep of white cliffs around the bay
  6. range
  7. 4[uncountable] the range of an idea, a piece of writing, etc. that considers many different things Her book covers the long sweep of the country's history.
  8. movement/search over area
  9. 5[countable] a movement over an area, for example in order to search for something or attack something The rescue helicopter made another sweep over the bay.
  10. chimney
  11. 6 [countable] = chimney sweep
  12. gambling
  13. 7[countable] (North American English also sweeps) (informal) = sweepstake
  14. in sport
  15. 8[countable] (North American English) a series of games that a team wins against another team; the fact of winning all the parts of a contest a World Series sweep
  16. television
  17. 9the sweeps [plural] (North American English) a time when television companies examine their programmes to find out which ones are the most popular, especially in order to calculate advertising rates the May ratings sweeps
  18. Word OriginOld English swāpan (verb), of Germanic origin; related to German schweifen ‘sweep in a curve’.Extra examples He dismissed his assistant with a grandiose sweep of his hand. Her eyes made a comprehensive sweep of the room. The house overlooks the great sweep of the St Lawrence River. The upward sweep of her hair was held in place by a comb. Thousands of jobs were lost in one broad sweep. We made a wide sweep south to the River Dee. the broad cultural sweep of Flaubert’s novel with a sweep of his arm An elegant sweep of lawn led up to the house. There is a broad sweep of white cliffs around the bay.Idioms
      make a clean sweep (of something)
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    1. 1to remove all the people or things from an organization that are thought to be unnecessary or need changing The new manager made a clean sweep of the department.
    2. 2to win all the prizes or parts of a game or competition; to win an election completely China made a clean sweep of the medals in the gymnastics events. The opinion poll suggests a clean sweep for the Democrats.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: sweep