sweepsweep1 /swiːp/ ●●●W3 verb (past tense and past participle swept /swept/)1clean something [transitive]DHC to clean the dust, dirt etc from the floor or ground, using a brush with a long handleSYN brushBert swept the path in front of the house.sweep something off/out/up etcWill you sweep the leaves off the patio?2push something somewhere [transitive always + adverb/preposition] to move things from a surface with a brushing movementI swept the papers quickly into the drawer.3push somebody/something with force [transitive always + adverb/preposition] to force someone or something to move in a particular directionThe windsurfer was swept out to sea.Jessie was swept along by the angry crowd.4group moves [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] if a group of people or animals sweep somewhere, they quickly move there togethersweep through/along etcThe crowd swept through the gates of the stadium.5wind/waves etc [intransitive, transitive always + adverb/preposition]DN if winds, waves, fire etc sweep a place or sweep through, across etc a place, they move quickly and with a lot of forceThunderstorms swept the country.sweep across/through etcNinety-mile per hour winds swept across the plains.6become popular [intransitive, transitive always + adverb/preposition] writtenPOPULAR if an idea, feeling, or activity sweeps a group of people or a place, it quickly becomes very popular or commonsweep the country/nation/state etca wave of nationalism sweeping the countrysweep across/through etcthe latest craze sweeping through the teenage population7feeling [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] if a feeling sweeps over you, you are suddenly affected by itsweep overA feeling of isolation swept over me.8person [intransitive always + adverb/preposition]WALK if someone sweeps somewhere, they move quickly and confidently, especially because they are impatient or like to seem importantsweep into/through etcEva swept into the meeting and demanded to know what was going on.9politics [intransitive, transitive]WIN to win an election easily and in an impressive waysweep to power/victoryNixon and Agnew swept to victory with 47 million votes.Herrera was swept into office on the promise of major reforms.10sports [transitive] American English to win all of the games in a series of games against a particular teamHouston swept Orlando to become NBA champions.11 →sweep the board12form a curve [intransitive always + adverb/preposition]AVTURN to form a long curved shapesweep down/along etcThe hills swept down to the sea.13look [intransitive, transitive always + adverb/preposition]LOOK AT to look quickly at all of somethingThe general’s eyes swept the horizon.sweep over/across/around etcthe beam from the lighthouse sweeping across the sea14 →sweep somebody off their feet15 →sweep/brush something under the carpet16hair [transitive always + adverb/preposition] to pull your hair back from your facesweep something back/upKerry swept her hair back into a ponytail. →sweep somebody along →sweep something ↔ aside →sweep somebody/something away →sweep up→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
sweep• You couldn't bear the thought of a chit of a girl sweeping in and scooping the jackpot.• He kind of swept me off my feet.• Phillario has already wished that the rain would sweep Mira away, and now Corydon is intent on getting rid of weeds.• Strong waves swept the boy out into the surf.• Linda swept the coins into her purse.• The Democrats had swept the fall elections and were about to take control of the Senate.• When everyone had left, Ed swept the floor.• I just finished sweeping the kitchen floor.• Just ask the experts, the cops who sweep them up afterward.• Can you help me sweep up all the pieces of glass?• While the keenamateursstruggle with maggots and nets on the bank ... these professionalscruise by sweeping up.sweep through/along etc• The line will sweep through a plane, and the circles will sweep through spheres.• The wind sweeps through and the hunchedwolfshivers.• He had been swept along by Tommy's drunkenmadness.• Hundreds of local Dayaks have been sweeping through the city of Palangkaraya looking for settlers from the island of Madura.• I had made up my mind at the ScenicOverlook to make a clean sweep through the house.• The week before, a monsoonal deluge had swept through the river valley.• The floodexploded into the Santa Clara River, turned right, and swept through the valley toward the ocean.• The sunlightglimmered off these blades and when the sea breezeswept through they rippled like sequins on a party dress.sweep across/through etc• The line will sweep through a plane, and the circles will sweep through spheres.• Reliefswept through her, followed immediately by anger.• Any dust or dirt was simply swept through the cracks and fell on the livestock below.• I had made up my mind at the Scenic Overlook to make a clean sweep through the house.• It was 1964, the civil rights movement was sweeping across the land, all the way into the halls of Congress.• The wind sighed again as it swept through the ruinedtemple, and a little shudder went through Caroline.• The sunlight glimmered off these blades and when the sea breeze swept through they rippled like sequins on a party dress.sweep across/through etc• The line will sweep through a plane, and the circles will sweep through spheres.• Relief swept through her, followed immediately by anger.• Any dust or dirt was simply swept through the cracks and fell on the livestock below.• I had made up my mind at the Scenic Overlook to make a clean sweep through the house.• It was 1964, the civil rights movement was sweeping across the land, all the way into the halls of Congress.• The wind sighed again as it swept through the ruined temple, and a little shudder went through Caroline.• The sunlight glimmered off these blades and when the sea breeze swept through they rippled like sequins on a party dress.sweep into/through etc• The line will sweep through a plane, and the circles will sweep through spheres.• Relief swept through her, followed immediately by anger.• She seldom would merely walk into our class but seemed always to sweep into it.• Accelerating down Goodwood's pit straight and sweeping into Madgwick Corner in this car is enough to convince you of that.• These chunks were swept into the entrance of the Niagara River, where the current bore them downstream.• When you sweep through the house guzzlinggin.• The mess of pizzafragments, uneatenchips, beer-cans, papers, had been swept into the litterbin.swept into office• In addition to winning the presidency Carey also swept into office with him every member of his reformistslate of candidates.sweep down/along etc• Had he merely been swept along by the force of her own impulsivefeelings?• He had been swept along by Tommy's drunken madness.• Maggie came upon a pile of massiveboulders, which had been swept down off the hills.• He is sweeping along on a tide of revisionism.• He swept down the gorge, circled round, and made a second pass at the Falls to lose altitude.• Characters made their entrances from the two lifts and swept down the stairs to their appointed places.• As we swept down to the seam in the old iron lift we all grabbed each other's hands in simultaneouspanic.• A thickhedgeshielded her from the field which swept down towards the foot of the embankment.sweep over/across/around etc• As he got closer I could hear his breathing as well, and I saw his pinktonguesweep across his lips.• But on my way down the stairs, guiltsweeps over me.• The joy of having the upper hand swept over me.• A polarairstream has swept across the country on strong north-westerly winds.• The armies of Chaos had overrun Kislev and looked set to sweep over the lands of men.• But as they slept, a thunderstormswept over the pass.• I turned in my chair to watch Tamar sweep across the room in her silk pyjamas.• Darren Sadler, 25, from Cleveleys Lancs was killed when he was swept over the sea wall in Blackpool.
sweepsweep2 noun [countable]1MOVE something OR somebodya long swinging movement of your arm, a weapon etcWith a single sweep of his sword, he cut through the rope.2[usually singular] British EnglishDHC the act of cleaning a room with a long-handled brushThe kitchen needs a good sweep.3 →the sweep of something4[usually singular]LOOK FORATTACK a search or attack that moves over a large areaHe watched the helicopter make a sweep over the beach.5 →the sweeps6American English a series of several games that one team wins against another team7BODHCa chimney sweep → clean sweepat clean1(14)
Examples from the Corpus
sweep• Police made a sweep of the area to arrest drug dealers.• This really means cutting in angledsweeps, allowing the double blade to cut on the forward and return arc.• Neighbors had complained that months went by and one never saw a chimney sweep.• Nevertheless, a foot sweep does require a lot of power to prevent it from degenerating into no more than a shin attack.• The Giants completed their four-game sweep of Atlanta.• The whaleswam away with great sweeps of its tail.• I felt the slowsweep of geologic time.• A good deal of that has changed in the sweep of less than 100 years.• The sweep of the court's decision could affect all car manufacturers.• The sweep into Putumayo promises equally direconsequences.make ... sweep• Our company makes sweeps from the base, staying in the field for four, five days.• He made a sweepinggesture at the microphones, cameras and reporters.• It is this convergence of class, gender, and race that makes a sweeping attack on one segment of society possible.• Before we set up for the night, we made a sweep of the entire area.Originsweep1(1200-1300) Probably from sweop, the past tense of Old Englishswapan“to sweep”