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sweep

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verb sweep pronunciation in British English /swiːp/ 
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theysweep
he/she/itsweeps
present participlesweeping
past tenseswept
past participleswept
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to clean a floor, the ground, or another surface using a broom (=brush with a long handle)

    After you've swept, you can do the washing-up.

    Her work consisted mainly of making coffee and sweeping the floor.

    I want you to sweep up the garage.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to clean something such as a chimney with a long brush

      Little children used to be used to sweep chimneys.

  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] to move or spread quickly through an area

    Youngsters are risking their lives in a dangerous craze which is sweeping the country.

    sweep across:

    The hurricane swept across the Gulf of California.

    sweep through:

    Fire swept through the building.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of sweep
  3. 3
    [transitive] to move something or someone with powerful force

    The flood waters swept the car downstream.

    He was swept along the street by dozens of supporters.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of sweep
    1. a.
      [transitive] to move or to carry something or someone away with a quick smooth movement

      He swept his son into his arms.

      Synonyms and related words for this sense of sweep
  4. 4
    [intransitive] to go somewhere quickly and confidently
    sweep into/past/by etc:

    She swept into the office and announced she could only stay ten minutes.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of sweep
    1. a.
      [intransitive] to move quickly and smoothly without stopping for anyone or anything
      sweep past/through/along etc:

      The limousine carrying the ambassador swept through the gates.

      Synonyms and related words for this sense of sweep
  5. 5
    [intransitive/transitive] to look over every part of someone or something in one continuous movement of your eyes

    Her gaze swept the room and she frowned.

    As she spoke, her eyes swept over her daughter.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of sweep
  6. 6
    [intransitive] to stretch over a large area, especially in a long wide curve

    The scenery was beautiful, with cool green forests sweeping down the hillsides.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of sweep

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