Nearby words

  1. swear to,
  2. swear word,
  3. swearing,
  4. swearing-in,
  5. swearword,
  6. sweat bee,
  7. sweat blood,
  8. sweat bullets,
  9. sweat equity,
  10. sweat gland


Origin of sweat

before 900; 1970–75 for def 6; (v.) Middle English sweten, Old English swǣtan to sweat, derivative of swāt (noun) (> obsolete English swote); (noun) Middle English, alteration of swote, influenced by the v.; cognate with Dutch zweet, German Schweiss, Old Norse sveiti, Sanskrit svedas; akin to Latin sūdor, Greek hidrṓs

Related formssweat·less, adjectivenon·sweat·ing, adjectiveun·sweat·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sweat

British Dictionary definitions for sweat



the secretion from the sweat glands, esp when profuse and visible, as during strenuous activity, from excessive heat, etc; commonly also called perspirationRelated adjectives: sudatory, sudorific
the act or process of secreting this fluid
the act of inducing the exudation of moisture
drops of moisture given forth or gathered on the surface of something
informal a state or condition of worry or eagerness (esp in the phrase in a sweat)
slang drudgery or hard labourmowing lawns is a real sweat!
mainly US an exercise gallop given to a horse, esp on the day of a race
slang, mainly British a soldier, esp one who is old and experienced
no sweat! (interjection) slang an expression suggesting that something can be done without problems or difficulty

verb sweats, sweating, sweat or sweated

to secrete (sweat) through the pores of the skin, esp profusely
(tr) to make wet or stain with sweat
to give forth or cause to give forth (moisture) in dropletsa sweating cheese; the maple sweats sap
(intr) to collect and condense moisture on an outer surfacea glass of beer sweating in the sun
(intr) (of a liquid) to pass through a porous surface in droplets
(of tobacco leaves, cut and dried hay, etc) to exude moisture and, sometimes, begin to ferment or to cause (tobacco leaves, etc) to exude moisture
(tr) to heat (food, esp vegetables) slowly in butter in a tightly closed saucepan
(tr) to join (pieces of metal) by pressing together and heating
(tr) to heat (solder) until it melts
(tr) to heat (a partially fused metal) to extract an easily fusible constituent
to shake together (coins, esp gold coins) so as to remove particles for illegal use
informal to suffer anxiety, impatience, or distress
informal to overwork or be overworked
(tr) informal to employ at very low wages and under bad conditions
(tr) informal to extort, esp by tortureto sweat information out of a captive
(intr) informal to suffer punishmentyou'll sweat for this!
sweat blood informal
  1. to work very hard
  2. to be filled with anxiety or impatience

Derived Formssweatless, adjective

Word Origin for sweat

Old English swætan to sweat, from swāt sweat; related to Old Saxon swēt, Old Norse sveiti, Old High German sweiz, Latin sūdor, Sanskrit svedas

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

Word Origin and History for sweat
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for sweat




To excrete perspiration through the pores in the skin; perspire.


The colorless saline moisture excreted by the sweat glands; perspiration.
The process of sweating.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for sweat



The salty liquid given off by sweat glands in the skin of mammals. As sweat evaporates, the skin cools, causing a reduction in body heat.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with sweat


In addition to the idioms beginning with sweat

  • sweat blood
  • sweat bullets
  • sweat of one's brow
  • sweat out

also see:

  • by the sweat of one's brow
  • in a cold sweat
  • no problem (sweat)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.