Pronunciation: (swēp), [key]
—v., swept, sweep•ing,
1. to move or remove (dust, dirt, etc.) with or as if with a broom, brush, or the like.
2. to clear or clean (a floor, room, chimney, etc.) of dirt, litter, or the like, by means of a broom or brush.
3. to drive or carry by some steady force, as of a wind or wave: The wind swept the snow into drifts.
4. to pass or draw (something) over a surface with a continuous stroke or movement: The painter swept a brush over his canvas.
5. to make (a path, opening, etc.) by clearing a space with or as if with a broom.
6. to clear (a surface, place, etc.) of something on or in it (often fol. by of): to sweep a sea of enemy ships.
7. to pass over (a surface, region, etc.) with a steady, driving movement or unimpeded course, as winds, floods, etc.: sandstorms sweeping the plains.
8. to search (an area or building) thoroughly: Soldiers swept the town, looking for deserters.
9. to pass the gaze, eyes, etc., over (a region, area, etc.): His eyes swept the countryside.
10. to direct (the eyes, gaze, etc.) over a region, surface, or the like: He swept his eyes over the countryside.
11. to examine electronically, as to search for a hidden listening device.
12. to win a complete or overwhelming victory in (a contest): Johnson swept the presidential election of 1964.
13. to win (every game, round, hand, etc., of a series of contests): The Yankees swept the three-game series.
a. to pass the fingers or bow over (a musical instrument, its strings or keys, etc.), as in playing.
b. to bring forth (music) thus.
1. to sweep a floor, room, etc., with or as if with a broom: The new broom sweeps well.
2. to move steadily and strongly or swiftly (usually fol. by along, down, by, into, etc.).
3. to move or pass in a swift but stately manner: Proudly, she swept from the room.
4. to move, pass, or extend in a continuous course, esp. a wide curve or circuit: His glance swept around the room.
5. to conduct an underwater search by towing a drag under the surface of the water.
6. Aeron.(of an airfoil or its leading or trailing edge) to project from the fuselage at an angle rearward or forward of a line perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the aircraft.
1. the act of sweeping, esp. a moving, removing, clearing, etc., by or as if by the use of a broom: to give the house a good sweep.
2. the steady, driving motion or swift onward course of something moving with force or without interruption: the sweep of the wind and the waves.
3. an examination by electronic detection devices of a room or building to determine the presence of hidden listening devices.
4. a swinging or curving movement or stroke, as of the arm, a weapon, an oar, etc.
5. reach, range, or compass, as of something sweeping about: the sweep of a road about a marsh.
6. a continuous extent or stretch: a broad sweep of sand.
7. a curving, esp. widely or gently curving, line, form, part, or mass.
8. matter removed or gathered by sweeping.
9. Also called well sweep. a leverlike device for raising or lowering a bucket in a well.
10. a large oar used in small vessels, sometimes to assist the rudder or to propel the craft.
11. an overwhelming victory in a contest.
12. a winning of all the games, rounds, hands, prizes, etc., in a contest by one contestant.
13. Football.See end run.
14. one of the sails of a windmill.
15. Agric.any of the detachable triangular blades on a cultivator.
16. Chiefly Brit.a person employed to clean by sweeping, esp. a chimney sweeper.
a. Whist.the winning of all the tricks in a hand. Cf. slam 2 (def. 1).
b. Casino. a pairing or combining, and hence taking, of all the cards on the board.
18. Physics.an irreversible process tending towards thermal equilibrium.
Pronunciation: (swēp), [key]
a sweepstakes. Also,sweeps.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.