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sweep - definition and synonyms

 
 
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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
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  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.
  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.
    1. a.
      [transitive] to move or to carry something or someone away with a quick smooth movement
      He swept his son into his arms.
  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.

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