verb (used without object), sweat or sweat·ed, sweat·ing.
verb (used with object), sweat or sweat·ed, sweat·ing.
- to obtain or extort (money) from someone.
- to extort money from; fleece.
- 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.
- (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.
- 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.
- to be under a strain; work strenuously.
- to wait anxiously; worry: He was sweating blood while his friend was being questioned by the police.
- to sweat profusely.
- to be apprehensive; worry.
- 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
verb sweats, sweating, sweat or sweated
- 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.
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)