- to perspire, especially freely or profusely.
- to exude moisture, as green plants piled in a heap or cheese.
- to gather moisture from the surrounding air by condensation.
- (of moisture or liquid) to ooze or be exuded.
- Informal. to work hard.
- Informal. to experience distress, as from anxiety.
- (of tobacco) to ferment.
- to excrete (perspiration, moisture, etc.) through the pores of the skin.
- to exude in drops or small particles: The drying figs sweat tiny drops of moisture.
- to send forth or get rid of with or like perspiration (often followed by out or off).
- to wet or stain with perspiration.
- to cause (a person, a horse, etc.) to perspire.
- to cause to exude moisture, especially as a step in an industrial drying process: to sweat wood.
- to earn, produce, or obtain (a result, promotion, compliment, etc.) by hard work.
- to cause to lose (weight) as by perspiring or hard work: The hard week's work sweated five pounds off him.
- to cause, force, or bring pressure on (a person, an animal, etc.) to work hard.
- to employ (workers) at low wages, for long hours, or under other unfavorable conditions.
- to labor with meticulous care over: The manufacturer of this beautiful car has really sweated the details.
- to obtain or extort (money) from someone.
- to extort money from; fleece.
- Slang. to subject to severe questioning; give the third degree to.
- to heat (an alloy) in order to remove a constituent melting at a lower temperature than the alloy as a whole.
- to heat (solder or the like) to melting.
- to join (metal objects) by heating and pressing together, usually with solder.
- to remove bits of metal from (gold coins) by shaking them against one another, as in a bag.Compare clip1(def 4).
- to cause (tobacco or cocoa) to ferment.
- the process of sweating or perspiring.
- that which is secreted from sweat glands; perspiration.
- a state or a period of sweating.
- hard work.
- Informal. a state of anxiety or impatience.
- a process of inducing sweating or perspiration, or of being sweated, as in medical treatment.
- moisture exuded from something or gathered on a surface.
- an exuding of moisture, as by a substance.
- an inducing of such exudation, as in some industrial process.
- a run given to a horse for exercise, as before a race.
- sweats, Informal. sweatpants, sweatshirts, sweat suits, or the like.
- (of clothes) made to be worn for exercise, sports, or other physical activity.
- made of the absorbent fabric used for such clothes: sweat dresses.
- of, for, or associated with such clothes: the sweat look in sportswear.
- sweat out, Informal.
- to await anxiously the outcome of; endure apprehensively: The accused sweated out the jury's deliberation.
- to work arduously at or toward: The director sweated out a camera angle with the cinematographer.
- no sweat, Informal. with no difficulty or problem.
- sweat blood, Informal.
- to be under a strain; work strenuously.
- to wait anxiously; worry: He was sweating blood while his friend was being questioned by the police.
- sweat bullets, Informal.
- to sweat profusely.
- to be apprehensive; worry.
- sweat it, Informal.
- to wait anxiously; endure the best way one can: There was no news of survivors, so all we could do was sweat it.
- to worry; be apprehensive: You'll do OK, so don't sweat it.
Origin of sweat
Synonyms 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
- 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
- to work very hard
- to be filled with anxiety or impatience
Word Origin for sweat
Old English swætan "perspire, work hard," from the source of sweat (n.). Meaning "to be worried, vexed" is recorded from c.1400. Related: Sweated; sweating. Colloquial no sweat "no problem" attested from 1963.
Old English swat "sweat," which became Middle English swote, but altered under the influence of the verb, from Proto-Germanic *swaita (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian swet, Old Norse sveiti, Danish sved "sweat," Swedish svett, Middle Dutch sweet, Dutch zweet, Old High German sweiz, German Schweiß), from PIE *sweid-/*swoid- (cf. Sanskrit svedah "sweat," Avestan xvaeda- "sweat," Greek hidros "sweat, perspiration," Latin sudor, Lettish swiedri, Welsh chwys "sweat"). Sweat equity is from 1968.
- 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 salty liquid given off by sweat glands in the skin of mammals. As sweat evaporates, the skin cools, causing a reduction in body heat.
Also, sweat one's guts out. Work diligently or strenuously, as in The men were sweating blood to finish the roof before the storm hit. The phrase using guts was first used about 1890, and that with blood shortly thereafter.
Suffer mental anguish, worry intensely, as in Waiting for the test results, I was sweating blood. This usage was first recorded in a work by D.H. Lawrence in 1924. Both usages are colloquial, and allude to the agony of Jesus in Gethsemane (Luke 22:44): “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
In addition to the idioms beginning with sweat
- sweat blood
- sweat bullets
- sweat of one's brow
- sweat out
- by the sweat of one's brow
- in a cold sweat
- no problem (sweat)