Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia.
1. To use a sweeping motion, especially with a brush or broom, to gather up and remove something all at once. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "sweep" and "up." I want you to sweep up all of this dust and debris before you leave. I need to sweep these leaves up off the lawn so I can cut the grass.
2. To use a sweeping motion, especially with a brush or broom, to clean something or some place. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "sweep" and "up." Be sure to sweep up the workshop after you're done. I want you kids to sweep up this room right now!
3. To lift someone or something out (of something or some place) all at once with a sweeping force or movement. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "sweep" and "up." Almost always followed by "into (something)." I swept my kids up into my arms the moment I saw them. The gust of wind swept the papers up into the air.
4. To cause someone to feel captivated, charmed, or enthused about something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "sweep" and "up." Typically used in passive constructions. I don't really like sports, but even I was swept up in the excitement over the team's championship victory. People from all over the country have been swept up in protests against the government's new legislation.
Involved in something through happenstance or proximity. I'm afraid that if he stays in that neighborhood, he's going to get swept up in some shady stuff just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I'm sorry that you got swept up in all of this, but I'm glad you're here.
sweep something up
1. Lit. to clean up and remove something, such as dirt, by sweeping. Please sweep these crumbs up. Can you sweep up these crumbs?
2. Lit. to clean up some place by sweeping. Please sweep this room up. Can you sweep up this room, please?
3. Fig. to arrange something, such as hair, into a curve or wave. The hairstylist swept her hair up over the top. No one liked it. Sweep up my hair the way it looks in this picture.
to clean up by sweeping. Would you sweep up this time? Please give me a few minutes to sweep up before you come to visit.
1. To clean or clear some surface with or as if with a broom or brush: I swept up the kitchen because there were crumbs on the floor. Whenever the barbershop floor became messy, I would sweep it up.
2. To remove something by sweeping it into a dustpan and discarding it: You should sweep up those shards of glass before someone steps on them. The custodian noticed candy wrappers on the floor and swept them up.
3. To lift something or someone up with a swift, brushing motion: The gambler swept up her winnings from the table and left the casino. He swept the child up into his arms.
4. To cause something or someone to become lifted and carried by a current: The wind swept the dust up into the air. The floodwaters swept up the car and carried it away.
5. To cause someone to be enthralled by and compelled to join in a collective emotion, action, or activity: The defendant claimed to have been swept up in the heat of passion.
6. To win some set of competitive events completely and decisively: He swept up the running events and won four medals. She entered every competition and swept them all up.
7. To win a large amount of money: He swept up at the casino last week.