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.
- swear to,
- swear word,
- sweat bee,
- sweat blood,
- sweat bullets,
- sweat equity,
- sweat gland
- 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
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.
Perspire profusely; also, suffer mental anguish. For example, We were sweating bullets, sitting in the sun through all those graduation speeches, or It was their first baby, and David was sweating bullets while Karen was in labor. The bullets in this expression allude to drops of perspiration the size of bullets. [Slang; mid-1900s]
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)