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sweep

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verb American English pronunciation: sweep /swip/ 
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 wash the dishes.

    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.

    Disease has swept through this remote city.

  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.

  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.

    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.

  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.

  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.

  7. 7
    [transitive] to win something easily
    1. a.
      to win all of the games in a series or all of the top places in a competition

      He was the only man to sweep the diving gold medals in two consecutive Olympics.

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