Sweep Sweep, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Swept}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Sweeping}.] [OE. swepen; akin to AS. sw[=a]pan. See {Swoop}, v. i.] 1. To pass a broom across (a surface) so as to remove loose dirt, dust, etc.; to brush, or rub over, with a broom for the purpose of cleaning; as, to sweep a floor, the street, or a chimney. Used also figuratively. [1913 Webster]

I will sweep it with the besom of destruction. --Isa. xiv. 23. [1913 Webster]

2. To drive or carry along or off with a broom or a brush, or as if with a broom; to remove by, or as if by, brushing; as, to sweep dirt from a floor; the wind sweeps the snow from the hills; a freshet sweeps away a dam, timber, or rubbish; a pestilence sweeps off multitudes. [1913 Webster]

The hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies. --Isa. xxviii. 17. [1913 Webster]

I have already swept the stakes. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

3. To brush against or over; to rub lightly along. [1913 Webster]

Their long descending train, With rubies edged and sapphires, swept the plain. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

4. To carry with a long, swinging, or dragging motion; hence, to carry in a stately or proud fashion. [1913 Webster]

And like a peacock sweep along his tail. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

5. To strike with a long stroke. [1913 Webster]

Wake into voice each silent string, And sweep the sounding lyre. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

6. (Naut.) To draw or drag something over; as, to sweep the bottom of a river with a net. [1913 Webster]

7. To pass over, or traverse, with the eye or with an instrument of observation; as, to sweep the heavens with a telescope. [1913 Webster]

{To sweep a mold} or {To sweep up a mold} (Founding), to form the sand into a mold by a templet, instead of compressing it around the pattern. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


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