[ swet-er ]
/ ˈswɛt ər /


a knitted jacket or jersey, in pullover or cardigan style, with or without sleeves.
a person or thing that sweats.
an employer who underpays and overworks employees.


of, for, or pertaining to a sweater: sweater yarn; sweater fashions.
made like a sweater: a sweater dress.

Nearby words

  1. sweat sock,
  2. sweat suit,
  3. sweatband,
  4. sweatbox,
  5. sweated,
  6. sweater girl,
  7. sweatercoat,
  8. sweathouse,
  9. sweating sickness,
  10. sweating system

Origin of sweater

1520–30 for def 2; 1880–85 for def 1; sweat + -er1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sweater

British Dictionary definitions for sweater


/ (ˈswɛtə) /


  1. a garment made of knitted or crocheted material covering the upper part of the body, esp a heavy one worn for warmth
  2. (as modifier)a sweater dress
a person or thing that sweats
an employer who overworks and underpays his employees
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 sweater



"woolen vest or jersey, originally worn in rowing," 1882, from earlier sweaters "clothing worn to produce sweating and reduce weight" (1828), from sweat (v.). As a fashion garment, attested from 1925. Sweater girl is attested from 1940; Lana Turner (1920-1995) was the first, from her appearance in the film "They Won't Forget" (1937).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper