noun (used with a singular or plural verb)
verb (used with object), swept, sweep·ing.
- to pass the fingers or bow over (a musical instrument, its strings or keys, etc.), as in playing.
- to bring forth (music) thus.
verb (used without object), swept, sweep·ing.
- Whist.the winning of all the tricks in a hand.Compare slam2(def 1).
- Casino.a pairing or combining, and hence taking, of all the cards on the board.
Origin of sweep1
Origin of sweep2
Examples from the Web for sweeps
Contemporary Examples of sweeps
Sophisticated, nuanced, melodious pop music, that sweeps you away.Belle & Sebastian Aren’t So Shy Anymore
January 7, 2015
The pulses are from a beam of light produced by the intense magnetic field, which sweeps across Earth as the neutron star rotates.The Weirdest Object in the Universe
Matthew R. Francis
May 18, 2014
As Rick the zombie-slayer returns, a deadly flu strain that makes your head burst like a shaken soda can sweeps across the prison.The Walking Dead ‘Infected’ Recap: There Will Be Exploding Faces
October 21, 2013
Then Cathy sweeps Cannistraci literally off her feet in a bear hug.Edie Windsor on Love, and More Scenes From a Gay Marriage
June 26, 2013
As the mustachioed fun of No Shave November sweeps the country, its roots as a charitable effort may be getting lost.Behind the Movember Movement’s Fight to Keep Charity Tied to Mustache
November 23, 2012
Historical Examples of sweeps
Others of the crew had scrambled to their feet and ran to help those at the sweeps.
It appeared to have run aground, and they were trying to push it off with the sweeps.
I soon reached the beckets of the sweeps, and found four in them.
I could not swim a stroke, and it crossed my mind to get one of the sweeps to keep me afloat.
This caused the other ends to slide, and all the sweeps got away from me.
verb sweeps, sweeping or swept
- (in gambling) to win all the cards or money
- to win every event or prize in a contest
- the winning of every trick in a hand of whist
- the taking, by pairing, of all exposed cards in cassino
- a long oar used on an open boat
- Australiana person steering a surf boat with such an oar
- a rakelike attachment for the front of a motor vehicle for pushing hay into piles
- a triangular blade on a cultivator used to cut through roots below the surface of the soil
- an overwhelming victory or success
- a complete change; purgeto make a clean sweep
Word Origin for sweep
c.1300, perhaps from a past tense form of Middle English swope "sweep," from Old English swapan "to sweep" (transitive & intransitive); see swoop. Related: Swept; sweeping.
In addition to the idioms beginning with sweep
- sweep off someone's feet
- sweep under the rug
- make a clean sweep
- new broom sweeps clean
- (sweep) off someone's feet