of wide range or scope.
moving or passing about over a wide area: a sweeping glance.
moving, driving, or passing steadily and forcibly on.
(of the outcome of a contest) decisive; overwhelming; complete: a sweeping victory.


the act of a person or thing that sweeps.
sweepings, matter swept out or up, as dust, refuse, etc.

Nearby words

  1. sweep under the rug,
  2. sweep-saw,
  3. sweep-second,
  4. sweepback,
  5. sweeper,
  6. sweeping score,
  7. sweepingly,
  8. sweepings,
  9. sweeps,
  10. sweepstake

Origin of sweeping

First recorded in 1470–80; sweep1 + -ing2, -ing1

Related formssweep·ing·ly, adverb

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

Examples from the Web for sweepings

British Dictionary definitions for sweepings


pl n

debris, litter, or refuse



comprehensive and wide-rangingsweeping reforms
indiscriminate or without reservationssweeping statements
decisive or overwhelminga sweeping victory
taking in a wide areaa sweeping glance
driving steadily onwards, esp over a large areaa sweeping attack
Derived Formssweepingly, adverbsweepingness, noun

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