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Sweep (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Swept (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Sweeping.] [OE. swepen; akin to AS. swapan. See Swoop, v. i.]


To pass a broom across (a surface) so as to remove loose dirt, dust, etc.; to brush, or rub over, with a broom for the purpose of cleaning; as, to sweep a floor, the street, or a chimney. Used also figuratively.

I will sweep it with the besom of destruction. Isa. xiv. 23.


To drive or carry along or off with a broom or a brush, or as if with a broom; to remove by, or as if by, brushing; as, to sweep dirt from a floor; the wind sweeps the snow from the hills; a freshet sweeps away a dam, timber, or rubbish; a pestilence sweeps off multitudes.

The hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies. Isa. xxviii. 17.

I have already swept the stakes. Dryden.


To brush against or over; to rub lightly along.

Their long descending train, With rubies edged and sapphires, swept the plain. Dryden.


To carry with a long, swinging, or dragging motion; hence, to carry in a stately or proud fashion.

And like a peacock sweep along his tail. Shak.


To strike with a long stroke.

Wake into voice each silent string, And sweep the sounding lyre. Pope.

6. Naut.

To draw or drag something over; as, to sweep the bottom of a river with a net.


To pass over, or traverse, with the eye or with an instrument of observation; as, to sweep the heavens with a telescope.

To sweep, ∨ sweep up, a mold Founding, to form the sand into a mold by a templet, instead of compressing it around the pattern.


© Webster 1913.

Sweep (?), v. i.


To clean rooms, yards, etc., or to clear away dust, dirt, litter, etc., with a broom, brush, or the like.


To brush swiftly over the surface of anything; to pass with switness and force, as if brushing the surface of anything; to move in a stately manner; as, the wind sweeps across the plain; a woman sweeps through a drawing-room.


To pass over anything comprehensively; to range through with rapidity; as, his eye sweeps through space.


© Webster 1913.

Sweep, n.


The act of sweeping.


The compass or range of a stroke; as, a long sweep.


The compass of any turning body or of any motion; as, the sweep of a door; the sweep of the eye.


The compass of anything flowing or brushing; as, the flood carried away everything within its sweep.


Violent and general destruction; as, the sweep of an epidemic disease.


Direction and extent of any motion not rectlinear; as, the sweep of a compass.


Direction or departure of a curve, a road, an arch, or the like, away from a rectlinear line.

The road which makes a small sweep. Sir W. Scott.


One who sweeps; a sweeper; specifically, a chimney sweeper.

9. Founding

A movable templet for making molds, in loam molding.

10. Naut. (a)

The mold of a ship when she begins to curve in at the rungheads; any part of a ship shaped in a segment of a circle.


A large oar used in small vessels, partly to propel them and partly to steer them.

11. Refining

The almond furnace.



A long pole, or piece of timber, moved on a horizontal fulcrum fixed to a tall post and used to raise and lower a bucket in a well for drawing water.

[Variously written swape, sweep, swepe, and swipe.]

13. Card Playing

In the game of casino, a pairing or combining of all the cards on the board, and so removing them all; in whist, the winning of all the tricks (thirteen) in a hand; a slam.

14. pl.

The sweeping of workshops where precious metals are worked, containing filings, etc.

Sweep net, a net for drawing over a large compass. -- Sweep of the tiller Naut., a circular frame on which the tiller traverses.


© Webster 1913.