clean sweep

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clean sweep

1. A large-scale removal of unwanted people or objects to expedite change. In an effort to save the company, the new CEO made a clean sweep and replaced everyone in the finance department. Wow, the garage looks completely different after our big clean sweep!
2. A victory by a large margin, especially one in which the opposing side accumulated none or a very small fraction of the votes, points, etc., required to win. Used especially in politics. The election was a clean sweep for the senator, who won in nearly every county. My team achieved a clean sweep at the national mathematics competition.
See also: clean, sweep

clean sweep

a broad movement clearing or affecting everything in its pathway. The manager and everybody in accounting got fired in a clean sweep of that department. Everybody got a pay rise. It was a clean sweep.
See also: clean, sweep

clean sweep

n. a broad movement clearing or affecting everything in the pathway. (Usually figurative.) Everybody got a raise. It was a clean sweep.
See also: clean, sweep

clean sweep, (make) a

Get rid of anything or anyone old, extraneous, unwanted. The term often refers to new officeholders who are extremely zealous about making a completely new start. It probably came from the much older locution, “New broom sweeps clean,” quoted in John Heywood’s proverb collection of 1546 and repeated often over the years, but now virtually obsolete.
See also: clean
References in classic literature ?
I was a man now, and I made a clean sweep of everything that bound me to my boyhood.
Brandon King struck an entertaining 77 while Sunil Ambris chipped in with 69 as West Indies A batted in partnerships throughout to deny India a clean sweep of the three-match series.
It was a clean sweep for West Cheshire youngsters playing in the Liverpool County FAiverpool F Junior Cup AJunior Cup second round after Hale Youth, Custys and Maghull Youth progressed at the expense of Birkdale United, Myers and Stanley respectively.
Second-placed Atack C showed no mercy to Bowling A as they also completed a clean sweep to stay in contention with a game in hand.
The West of Scotland front-row, who has played in each of the victories over Ireland, France and Wales to date, is relishing the thought of another crack at a clean sweep of the other four nations.
At the top of the table, a 4-0 dry run by leaders Atack A over Bowling A ensured they remained at the head of affairs by one point from Atack C, who were 3-1 winners at Windmill for whom Wayne Adlam sank a 24 to avoid his team a clean sweep. However, it was Andy Kean with a 48 and 28 who sealed the honours for the away team.
It was only a defiant performance from the home side's J Daulton that denied the leaders a clean sweep with a hard earned 21-17 victory going her way.
The week previous the `Nuts had opened their win account at the tenth time of asking by beating the Ex-Servicemens but there was no continuation of that winning form when Bedworth visited the Old Hinckley Roaders and pocketed a clean sweep.
Wayne Cryer, looking to save his men from a clean sweep, made the early running with a 30 run but Glen Locker then turned on the style to sink a 38 break, then clinch the game with a 22 clearance.
Terry Whittaker denied Cleaver B a clean sweep over their A team rivals by taking the anchor leg although by then messrs Bartram, Hobrow and Vincent has already ensured the spoils were well and truly pocketed.