American English

Definition of sweep noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    with brush
  1. 1[countable, usually singular] an act of cleaning a room, surface, etc. using a broom He gave the room a quick sweep before they arrived.
  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] (also sweeps) (informal) = sweepstakes
  14. in sports
  15. 8[countable] 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] a time when television companies examine their programs to find out which ones are the most popular, especially in order to calculate advertising rates the May ratings sweeps
  18. Idioms
      make a clean sweep (of something)
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    1. 1to 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.
    2. 2to 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.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: sweep