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1. To move, rush, or pass quickly through something or some place. The boss swept through the office and out the door without saying a word to anyone. He opened the front door and a frigid wind swept through. Floodwaters swept through the valley, carrying away millions of dollars in property and livestock.
2. To visit some place very briefly before leaving again. My relatives are sweeping through for a night on their way to New York. The famous actress swept through Paris as a part of her worldwide publicity tour.
3. Of a feeling or emotion, to pass over, enshroud, or overwhelm someone or something very quickly or suddenly. A feeling of dread swept through me as I thought about the consequences of my decision. Fear and paranoia swept through the country following the government's declaration.
4. To become dominant, ubiquitous, or popular throughout some place. The bizarre new fad has swept through school across the country. She is being credited for the new fashion trend that has been sweeping through the nation recently.
5. To travel or spread very quickly throughout some place, especially resulting in or so as to cause destruction or devastation. Soldiers swept through the city, gunning down rebels and civilians alike. Scores have died as a result of the plague sweeping through the country.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. Lit. to move through something or some place quickly and with grand flourishes. She swept through the room, speaking to no one. She swept through in a great hurry.
2. Fig. to perform some task quickly. She swept through the musical number and ran offstage. It required a slower tempo, but she just swept through.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.