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1. To use a sweeping motion, especially with a brush or broom, to move something out (of something or some place) all at once. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "sweep" and "out." I want you to sweep out all of this dust and debris from the workshop before you leave tonight. The barber swept all the hair out of the room.
2. To clean something or some place by using a sweeping motion, especially with a brush or broom. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "sweep" and "out." I just want to sweep the garage out while there aren't any cars in it. Would you mind sweeping out the cabinets? Someone spilled a bunch of rice in there.
3. To push, pull, or carry someone or something out (of something or some place) all at once with a continuous force or movement. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can used between "sweep" and "out." The gust of wind swept the papers out of my hands and scattered them all around the park. A large wave swept the beachgoer out to sea, but the lifeguards were able to save him.
4. To force someone or something to leave some position or status thoroughly, decisively, or abruptly. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "sweep" and "out." Often used in passive constructions. The political party was swept out of power after numerous defeats in congressional elections around the country. The shocking defeat has swept last year's champions out of the first round of the playoffs.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
out to clean something out by sweeping. Someone has to sweep the garage out. Don't sweep out this room. I'll do it.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To clean the inside of something by sweeping: I swept out the garage. No one goes in that room except for the janitor, who sweeps it out every week.
2. To cause something to be carried outward by some current: The abandoned surfboard was swept out to sea. A gust of wind swept the leaves out of the gutter and into the air.
3. To cause someone to be removed from office or power, especially in a decisive election. Used chiefly in the passive: The politician was swept out of office because the citizens had lost faith in the government.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.