Definition of

Sweep

  1. (noun, act) a movement in an arc
  2. (noun, act) (American football) an attempt to advance the ball by running around the end of the line
  3. (noun, artifact) a long oar used in an open boat
  4. (noun, attribute) a wide scope
  5. (noun, event) winning all or all but one of the tricks in bridge
  6. (noun, person) someone who cleans soot from chimneys
  7. (verb, competition) win an overwhelming victory in or on
  8. (verb, contact) sweep with a broom or as if with a broom
    Sweep under the bed
  9. (verb, contact) clean by sweeping
  10. (verb, contact) make a big sweeping gesture or movement
  11. (verb, motion) move with sweeping, effortless, gliding motions
    Shreds of paper sailed through the air
    The searchlights swept across the sky
  12. (verb, motion) sweep across or over
    A gasp swept cross the audience
  13. (verb, stative) force into some kind of situation, condition, or course of action
    don't drag me into this business
  14. (verb, stative) to cover or extend over an area or time period
    The parking lot spans 3 acres
    The novel spans three centuries
  15. (verb, stative) cover the entire range of

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Sweep

  1. c.1300, perhaps from a past tense form of M.E. swope "sweep," from O.E. swapan "to sweep" (transitive & intransitive); see swoop. The noun meaning "range, extent" is attested from 1679; in ref. to police or military actions, it is attested from 1837. Sense of "a winning of all the tricks in a card game" is from 1814 (see sweepstakes); extended to other sports by 1… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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