Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

sweep - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun     sweep pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [countable] [usually singular] a long wide curved area of land or water
  2. 2
    [countable] a long smooth curved movement
    sweep of:

    He threw the gun aside with a sweep of his arm.

  3. 3
    [singular] a range of different things that together form a larger unit
    sweep of:

    the broad sweep of history

  4. 5
    [countable] [usually singular] a search of an area made by soldiers or police officers
  5. 6
    [singular] American a series of successes in sports, or the achievement of winning all the top places in a competition

    a three-game sweep

  6. 8
    [singular] an act of sweeping something

    She gave the floor a quick sweep.

quiz invitation
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


a description of an economic or political situation based on analysis of information at the present time

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an unregulated form of capitalism that features financial deregulation, privatisation and low tax for high earners

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play