[ sweet ]
See synonyms for sweet on Thesaurus.com
adjective,sweet·er, sweet·est.
  1. having the taste or flavor characteristic of sugar, honey, etc.

  2. producing the one of the four basic taste sensations that is not bitter, sour, or salt.

  1. not rancid or stale; fresh: This milk is still sweet.

  2. not salt or salted: sweet butter.

  3. pleasing to the ear; making a delicate, pleasant, or agreeable sound; musical.

  4. pleasing or fresh to the smell; fragrant; perfumed.

  5. pleasing or agreeable; delightful.

  6. amiable; kind or gracious, as a person, action, etc.

  7. easily managed; done or effected without effort.

  8. (of wine) not dry; containing unfermented, natural sugar.

  9. (of a cocktail) made with a greater proportion of vermouth than usual.

  10. sentimental, cloying, or unrealistic: a sweet painting of little kittens.

  11. (of air) fresh; free from odor, staleness, excess humidity, noxious gases, etc.

  12. free from acidity or sourness, as soil.

  13. Chemistry.

    • devoid of corrosive or acidic substances.

    • (of fuel oil or gas) containing no sulfur compounds.

  14. (of jazz or big band music) performed with a regular beat, moderate tempo, lack of improvisation, and an emphasis on warm tone and clearly outlined melody.

  1. in a sweet manner; sweetly.

  1. Slang. (used to express approval, admiration, satisfaction, pleasure, etc.: I hear she got a promotion. Sweet!

  1. a sweet flavor, smell, or sound; sweetness.

  2. something that is sweet or causes or gives a sweet flavor, smell, or sound.

  1. sweets,

    • candy, pie, cake, and other foods high in sugar content.

    • Informal. sweet potatoes.

  2. Chiefly British.

    • a piece of candy; confection or bonbon.

    • a sweet dish or dessert, as a pudding or tart.

  3. something pleasant to the mind or feelings.

  4. a beloved person.

  5. Often sweets . (in direct address) darling; sweetheart: Yes, my sweet.

Idioms about sweet

  1. short and sweet. See entry at short and sweet.

  2. sweet on, Informal. infatuated with; in love with: He's sweet on her.

Origin of sweet

First recorded before 900; (adjective and adverb) Middle English swet(e), Old English swēte (adjective); (noun) Middle English swet(e), derivative of the adjective; cognate with Old Saxon swōti, Old High German swuozi (German süss ); akin to Dutch zoet, Old Norse sætr, Gothic suts, Sanskrit svādú-, Greek hēdýs, hādýs “sweet,” Latin suāvis “pleasant” and suādēre “to recommend”

word story For sweet

It is not very often that a modern English word comes as close to its Proto-Indo-European original as, say, Latin or Greek does, but sweet is one of them.
The Proto-Indo-European root is swād- “sweet”; the adjective from that root is swādús, which becomes Sanskrit svādús, then Greek hēdýs and hādýs (with the usual simplification of initial sw- to h- ). The extended form swādwis becomes the Latin adjective suāvis “agreeable to the taste” (not necessarily sweet), “fragrant; pleasing to the eyes, the feelings, the mind,” and the verb suādēre “to recommend, make something pleasant.” The root swād- regularly becomes swōt- in Germanic, and the adjective from that root is swōtjaz. The j causes umlaut of the ō, becoming œ or ē and yielding the Old English adjective swœte and swēte, Middle English swet(e), swet, and English sweet.
Very early on, sweet was applied more generally to things that are pleasing or agreeable to bodily senses other than taste buds. In the 14th century, you might say someone was sweet in (the) bed to mean that they were good in bed. From the mid-1500s, sweet-love (now obsolete) was a term of affection for a beloved person. By the late 1500s, you could call someone sweet-tongued, and by the 1900s, whisper sweet nothings to someone.

Other words for sweet

Other words from sweet

  • sweet·ly, adverb
  • sweet·ness, noun
  • non·sweet, adjective
  • o·ver·sweet, adjective
  • o·ver·sweet·ly, adverb
  • o·ver·sweet·ness, noun
  • su·per·sweet, adjective
  • su·per·sweet·ly, adverb
  • su·per·sweet·ness, noun

Words that may be confused with sweet

Words Nearby sweet

Other definitions for Sweet (2 of 2)

[ sweet ]

  1. Henry, 1845–1912, English philologist and linguist.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use sweet in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for sweet (1 of 2)


/ (swiːt) /

  1. having or denoting a pleasant taste like that of sugar

  2. agreeable to the senses or the mind: sweet music

  1. having pleasant manners; gentle: a sweet child

  2. (of wine, etc) having a relatively high sugar content; not dry

  3. (of foods) not decaying or rancid: sweet milk

  4. not salty: sweet water

  5. free from unpleasant odours: sweet air

  6. containing no corrosive substances: sweet soil

  7. (of petrol) containing no sulphur compounds

  8. sentimental or unrealistic

  9. individual; particular: the electorate went its own sweet way

  10. jazz performed with a regular beat, with the emphasis on clearly outlined melody and little improvisation

  11. Australian slang satisfactory or in order; all right

  12. archaic respected; dear (used in polite forms of address): sweet sir

  13. smooth and precise; perfectly executed: a sweet shot

  14. sweet on fond of or infatuated with

  15. keep someone sweet to ingratiate oneself in order to ensure cooperation

  1. informal in a sweet manner

  1. a sweet taste or smell; sweetness in general

  2. (often plural) British any of numerous kinds of confectionery consisting wholly or partly of sugar, esp of sugar boiled and crystallized (boiled sweets)

  1. British a pudding, fruit, or any sweet dish served as a dessert

  2. dear; sweetheart (used as a form of address)

  3. anything that is sweet

  4. (often plural) a pleasurable experience, state, etc: the sweets of success

Origin of sweet

Old English swēte; related to Old Saxon swōti, Old High German suozi, Old Norse sœtr, Latin suādus persuasive, suāvis sweet, Greek hēdus, Sanskrit svādu; see persuade, suave

Derived forms of sweet

  • sweetish, adjective
  • sweetly, adverb
  • sweetness, noun

British Dictionary definitions for Sweet (2 of 2)


  1. Henry. 1845–1912, English philologist; a pioneer of modern phonetics. His books include A History of English Sounds (1874)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with sweet


In addition to the idioms beginning with sweet

  • sweet dreams
  • sweeten the kitty
  • sweetness and light
  • sweet nothings
  • sweet on, be
  • sweet talk
  • sweet tooth

also see:

  • short and sweet
  • take the bitter with the sweet

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.