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  1. sweep
  2. verb

    • 1. clean (an area) by brushing away dirt or litter:

      I've swept the floor Greg swept out the kitchen
      Synonym : brush, clean, scrub, wipe, mop, dust, scour, scrape, rake, buff, vacuum, hoover, do
    • 2. move or remove (dirt or litter) by sweeping:

      she swept the tea leaves into a dustpan
      Synonym : remove, wash away, expel, dispose of, eliminate, get rid of, brush, clean, clear, whisk
    • 3. move or push (someone or something) with great force:

      I was swept along by the crowd the party was swept from power
      Synonym : carry, pull, drag, drive
    • 4. brush (hair) back from one's face or upward:

      long hair swept up into a high chignon
    • 5. move swiftly and smoothly:

      a large black car swept past the open windows a wave of sympathy swept over him
    • 6. cause to move swiftly and smoothly:

      he swept his hand around the room
    • 7. (of a person) move in a confident and stately manner:

      she swept magnificently from the hall
    • 8. affect (an area or place) swiftly and widely:

      the rebellion had swept through all four of the country's provinces violence swept the country
      Synonym : engulf, overwhelm, flood, flow across, surge over, race, hurtle, streak, spread like lightning, tear, whip
    • 9. (of a geographical or natural feature) extend continuously in a particular direction, especially in a curve:

      green forests swept down the hillsides
    • 10. win all the games in (a series); take each of the winning or main places in (a contest or event):

      we knew we had to sweep these three home games
    • 11. search (an area) for something:

      the detective swept the room for hair and fingerprints
      Synonym : search, probe, check, explore, hunt through, look through, delve in, go through, sift through, scour, comb, go through with a fine-tooth comb, leave no stone unturned in
    • 12. examine (a place or object) for electronic listening devices:

      the line is swept every fifteen minutes
    • 13. cover (an entire area) with a gun:

      they were trying to get the Lewis gun up behind some trees from where they would sweep the trench


    • 1. an act of sweeping something with a brush:

      I was giving the floor a quick sweep
    • 2. short for chimney sweep

    • 3. a long, swift curving movement:

      a grandiose sweep of his hand
    • 4. the movement of a beam across the screen of a cathode ray tube.

    • 5. a procedure for inducing labor in a pregnant woman, in which a medical practitioner moves a finger around within the opening of the cervix to detach the amniotic membranes:

      I went in for a sweep at 41 weeks she asked if I wanted a membrane sweep to get labor going
    • 6. a comprehensive search or survey of a place or area:

      the police finished their sweep through the woods
    • 7. a survey of the ratings of broadcast stations, carried out at regular intervals to determine advertising rates.

    • 8. a long, typically curved stretch of road, river, or land:

      we could see a wide sweep of country perhaps a hundred miles across
    • 9. a curved part of a driveway in front of a building:

      one fork of the driveway continued on to the gravel sweep
      Synonym : curve, curvature, bend, arc, arch, bow, turn
    • 10. the range or scope of something:

      the whole sweep of the history of the USSR
    • 11. a sweepstake.

    • 12. an instance of winning every event, award, or place in a contest:

      a World Series sweep
    • 13. a long, heavy oar used to row a barge or other vessel:

      a big, heavy sweep oar
    • 14. a sail of a windmill.

    • 15. a long pole mounted as a lever for raising buckets from a well.

  3. Variation

    • n.: noun: sweep, plural noun: sweeps

    • v.: verb: sweep, 3rd person present: sweeps, gerund or present participle: sweeping, past tense: swept, past participle: swept

    • verb

      clean (an area) by brushing away dirt or litter:

      move or remove (dirt or litter) by brushing it away:

    • noun

      an act of sweeping something with a brush:

      short for chimney sweep

    • past and past participle of sweep
    • past and past participle of sweep
    • noun

      a person whose job is cleaning out the soot from chimneys.
    • noun

      a person whose job is cleaning out the soot from chimneys.
    • the removal of all unwanted people or things in order to start afresh

      the winning of all of a group of similar or related competitions, events, or matches

    • remove, dispel, or abolish something in a swift and sudden way
    • noun

      a second hand on a clock or watch, moving on the same dial as the other hands.
    • win every event or prize in a contest
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