no sweat, Informal. with no difficulty or problem.
    sweat blood, Informal.
    1. to be under a strain; work strenuously.
    2. to wait anxiously; worry: He was sweating blood while his friend was being questioned by the police.
    sweat bullets, Informal.
    1. to sweat profusely.
    2. to be apprehensive; worry.
    sweat it, Informal.
    1. to wait anxiously; endure the best way one can: There was no news of survivors, so all we could do was sweat it.
    2. to worry; be apprehensive: You'll do OK, so don't sweat it.

Origin of sweat

before 900; 1970–75 for def 6; (v.) Middle English sweten, Old English swǣtan to sweat, derivative of swāt (noun) (> obsolete English swote); (noun) Middle English, alteration of swote, influenced by the v.; cognate with Dutch zweet, German Schweiss, Old Norse sveiti, Sanskrit svedas; akin to Latin sūdor, Greek hidrṓs
Related formssweat·less, adjectivenon·sweat·ing, adjectiveun·sweat·ing, adjective

Synonyms for sweat

24. See perspiration. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sweats

Contemporary Examples of sweats

Historical Examples of sweats

British Dictionary definitions for sweats


pl n

sweatshirts and sweat-suit trousersjeans and sweats



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

verb sweats, sweating, sweat or sweated

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
  1. to work very hard
  2. to be filled with anxiety or impatience
Derived Formssweatless, adjective

Word Origin for sweat

Old English swætan to sweat, from swāt sweat; related to Old Saxon swēt, Old Norse sveiti, Old High German sweiz, Latin sūdor, Sanskrit svedas
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 sweats



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sweats in Medicine




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 American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

sweats in Science



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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with sweats


In addition to the idioms beginning with sweat

  • sweat blood
  • sweat bullets
  • sweat of one's brow
  • sweat out

also see:

  • by the sweat of one's brow
  • in a cold sweat
  • no problem (sweat)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.