adjective, sweet·er, sweet·est.
- devoid of corrosive or acidic substances.
- (of fuel oil or gas) containing no sulfur compounds.
- candied sweet potatoes.
- (in direct address) sweetheart.
- a piece of candy; sweetmeat or bonbon.
- a sweet dish or dessert, as a pudding or tart.
Origin of sweet
Can be confusedsuite sweet
The Proto-Indo-European root is swād- “sweet”; the adjective from that root is swādús, which becomes Sanskrit svādús, then Greek hēdýs and hādýs (with the usual simplification of initial sw- to h- ). The extended form swādwis becomes the Latin adjective suāvis “agreeable to the taste” (not necessarily sweet), “fragrant; pleasing to the eyes, the feelings, the mind,” and the verb suādēre “to recommend, make something pleasant.” The root swād- regularly becomes swōt- in Germanic, and the adjective from that root is swōtjaz. The j causes umlaut of the ō, becoming œ or ē and yielding the Old English adjective swœte and swēte, Middle English swet(e), swet, and English sweet.
Very early on, sweet was applied more generally to things that are pleasing or agreeable to bodily senses other than taste buds. In the 14th century, you might say someone was sweet in (the) bed to mean that they were good in bed. From the mid-1500s, sweet-love (now obsolete) was a term of affection for a beloved person. By the late 1500s, you could call someone sweet-tongued, and by the 1900s, whisper sweet nothings to someone.
Examples from the Web for sweets
The camp has a market street where merchants set up shop and sell their goods, mostly small food items and sweets.Millions of Refugees from Syria’s War Are Clinging to Life In Toxic Conditions|Christopher Looney|April 14, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Flock to this beautiful tea house to get a taste of authentic Japanese teas and sweets.
After all, there are countless pounds of sweets to be had, absolutely free.Los Angeles, Washington & More Trick-or-Treat Capitals|The Daily Beast|October 31, 2012|DAILY BEAST
No matter what nonsense the little devils got themselves into, Miss Crabtree was always tolerant, patient, and ready with sweets.
Sadly for sweets lovers, desserts are noticeably absent from MyPlate.
Bessie Manners's mother undertook to send a supply of ices, and a generous store of sweets and flowers seemed forthcoming.The Youngest Girl in the Fifth|Angela Brazil
Then, having paid for Penelope's book, and bought some sweets for them all, Esther led her little troop out of the shop and home.The Carroll Girls|Mabel Quiller-Couch
All we get are chocolates and sweets and dates and that sort of thing, not proper presents.A Young Girl's Diary|An Anonymous Young Girl
And would you really be content without pretty frocks and sweets and all the things young ladies like?The Voyage Out|Virginia Woolf
These grains may be used to decorate other sweets or may be served in little baskets or odd receptacles.Candy-Making at Home|Mary M. Wright
British Dictionary definitions for sweets (1 of 2)
British Dictionary definitions for sweets (2 of 2)
Derived Formssweetish, adjectivesweetly, adverbsweetness, noun
Word Origin for sweet
Idioms and Phrases with sweets
In addition to the idioms beginning with sweet
- sweet dreams
- sweeten the kitty
- sweetness and light
- sweet nothings
- sweet on, be
- sweet talk
- sweet tooth
- short and sweet
- take the bitter with the sweet