[ swet-shop ]
See synonyms for sweatshop on Thesaurus.com
  1. a shop, small factory, or other workplace employing workers at low wages, for long hours, and under poor conditions.

Origin of sweatshop

First recorded in 1865–70; sweat + shop

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

How to use sweatshop in a sentence

  • It was then that the sweat-shop with all its horrors had its beginning, or at least found its most objectionable development.

  • Her room was very nicely kept, and she had on a shelf a novel of Sudermann's and a little book of Rosenthal's sweat shop verses.

    Making Both Ends Meet | Sue Ainslie Clark and Edith Wyatt
  • The office of E. Springer & Company was in pleasant contrast to the flower sweat-shop, for all its bright colors.

    The Long Day | Dorothy Richardson
  • She was a skirt-hand; she had worked in a Broadway sweat-shop, and didn't know anything about any other sort of work.

    The Long Day | Dorothy Richardson
  • Women, and plenty to spare, are found to toil under the sweat-shop masters for tenpence a day of fourteen hours.

British Dictionary definitions for sweatshop


/ (ˈswɛtˌʃɒp) /

  1. a workshop where employees work long hours under bad conditions for low wages

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

Cultural definitions for sweatshop


A small factory or shop in which employees are poorly paid and work under adverse conditions. Sweatshops were especially common in the garment industry during the early twentieth century.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.