sweeping


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sweep (something) under the mat

To ignore, deny, or conceal from public view or knowledge something that is embarrassing, unappealing, or damaging to one's reputation. The senator has been accused of trying to sweep his former drug use under the mat. You need to stop sweeping your problems under the mat. Nothing will get resolved like that!
See also: mat, sweep

sweep (something) under the carpet

To ignore, deny, or conceal from public view or knowledge something that is embarrassing, unappealing, or damaging to one's reputation. The senator has been accused of trying to sweep his former drug use under the carpet. You need to stop sweeping your problems under the carpet. Nothing will get resolved like that!
See also: carpet, sweep

sweep (something) under the rug

To ignore, deny, or conceal from public view or knowledge something that is embarrassing, unappealing, or damaging to one's reputation. The senator has been accused of trying to sweep his former drug use under the rug. You need to stop sweeping your problems under the rug. Nothing will get resolved like that!
See also: rug, sweep

sweep the board

To win all possible prizes or in all categories in a competition. Primarily heard in UK. Labour is expected to sweep the board in this district. James nearly swept the board at the award show—he took home seven different trophies!
See also: board, sweep

sweep away

1. Literally, to brush, push, or carry someone or something away. A noun or pronoun can be used between "sweep" and "away." The giant wave swept the entire road away. The hurricane's winds were so strong that they swept away entire buildings. He swept the papers away in anger.
2. To eliminate or dispose of someone or something quickly and decisively. A noun or pronoun can be used between "sweep" and "away." The returning champions have so far swept away every competitor with ease. The fracture in my leg swept my dreams of competing in the Olympics away in an instant.
See also: away, sweep

sweep along

1. To glide or drift onward in a smooth, continuous motion in a current or as if being carried by one. We swept along in our tiny boat, watching the sun set over the ridge of the island. The leaves of the tree swept along as they fell into the stream.
2. To carry or push someone or something onward in a smooth, gliding motion. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "sweep" and "along." The river swept us along so quickly that we had no choice but to wait until it deposited us into calmer waters. Intense winds continued to sweep debris along through the streets.
See also: sweep

sweep aside

1. To push someone or something to one side, especially in an indifferent or disdainful manner. A noun or pronoun can be used between "sweep" and "aside." The bouncer swept us aside so the celebrity and her husband could come through the door. He along the path sweeping aside leaves and debris.
2. To belittle or disregard someone or something as being unimportant or untrue. A noun or pronoun can be used between "sweep" and "aside." The president has continually swept aside claims of fiscal impropriety by members of his administration. I kept trying to raise these problems with the management team, but they swept me aside every time I spoke up.
3. To remove someone or something from competition, consideration, or a position of authority. A noun or pronoun can be used between "sweep" and "aside." The military junta stormed the capital and swept aside parliament in a matter of hours. It was pretty remarkable to watch such an underdog team sweep the former champions aside so soundly.
See also: aside, sweep

sweep into

1. To use a sweeping motion, especially with a brush or broom, to move something into something or some place all at once. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "sweep" and "into." We need to sweep all these crumbs into the trash before we can set the table for dinner. Don't just sweep the dirt into the corner and leave it there!
2. To push, pull, or carry someone or something into something or some place all at once with a continuous force or movement. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "sweep" and "into." The downpour swept all our crops into the river. The clothes that had been drying outside were swept into the neighbors' yard by the strong winds.
3. To arrive at or come into some position or status thoroughly, decisively, and abruptly. The political party swept into power following the attack and quickly began rewriting the country's laws to consolidate their control of the government, all in the name of securing the population against the enemy. The underdog team was never expected to even make the playoffs, but after sweeping into the semi-finals in such spectacular fashion, many are starting to favor them to win the whole championship.
4. To cause or enable someone or something to arrive at or come into some position or status thoroughly, decisively, and abruptly. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "sweep" and "into." The victory sweeps their party into a majority in the senate for the first time in ten years.
See also: sweep

sweep in

To arrive or appear (at some position, status, or location) all at once. We had just begun eating our picnic when a rainstorm swept in all of a sudden. In the 12 months since the nationalist party swept in, human rights have been eroded one by one.
See also: sweep

sweep out

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, and 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.
See also: out, sweep

sweep up

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.
See also: sweep, up

sweep back

To push, brush, or clear something back and away (from something) very lightly and quickly with or as with one's hand. A noun or pronoun can be used between "sweep" and "back." I need to get my hair cut. I hate having to constantly sweep my hair back from my face. He swept back the curtains to let in the brilliant morning light. She swept back the dirt and debris so she could read the inscription on the ancient tomb.
See also: back, sweep

sweep back into (something)

1. To return to some place in a very swift, light-footed manner. The teacher swept back into the room to tell us when the assignment was due before rushing out again just as quickly. The rebels would emerge for brief assaults on the military forces before sweeping back into their hiding places in the jungle.
2. To return to some position or status very quickly and unequivocally. The party swept back into power following landslide victories in the presidential and congressional elections. The politician's hopes of sweeping back into office were dashed by the discovery of his tax fraud.
3. To cause someone or some group to return to some position or status very quickly and unequivocally. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "sweep" and "back." Often used in passive constructions. Simmering frustration and anger among voters with the current administration helped sweep the opposing party into power. He was swept back into office by an incredibly successful grassroots campaign. I have no interest in being swept back into the world of espionage.
See also: back, sweep

sweep back to (something)

1. To return to some position or status very quickly and unequivocally. The party swept back to power following landslide victories in the presidential and congressional elections. The politician's hopes of sweeping back to office were dashed by the discovery of his tax fraud.
2. To cause someone or some group to return to some position or status very quickly and unequivocally. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "sweep" and "back." Often used in passive constructions. Simmering frustration and anger among voters with the current administration helped sweep the opposing party to power. He was swept back to office by an incredibly successful grassroots campaign. I have no interest in being swept back to the world of espionage.
3. To cause someone to vividly recollect or relive a particular memory or period of their lives. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "sweep" and "back." Seeing his daughter head off for her first day of college swept him back to his time at Harvard. Walking along the streets of Paris hand in hand, we were instantly swept back to our honeymoon 20 years earlier.
See also: back, sweep

sweep down

1. To rush, flow, or pour down (something). A great flood of water swept down the ravine. A frigid wind swept down from the summit, chilling us to our bones.
2. To clean or clear something by brushing its surface very lightly and quickly, as with a broom or brush. A noun or pronoun can be used between "sweep" and "down." Make sure you sweep the floor down before you begin mopping, or you'll just smear dirt around. She swept down the ancient tombstone so she could decipher the inscriptions.
See also: down, sweep

sweep down on (someone or something)

To rush, flow, or pour down on someone or something. A great flood swept down on the small town after the dam burst. A frigid wind swept down on us from the summit, chilling us to our bones.
See also: down, on, sweep

sweep off

1. To clean or clear something by brushing its surface very lightly and quickly, as with a broom or brush. A noun or pronoun can be used between "sweep" and "off." Please sweep the patio off before our guests arrive. She swept off the ancient tombstone so she could decipher the inscriptions.
2. To clear something off (of someone or something) with a quick brushing movement. A noun or pronoun can be used between "sweep" and "off." Don't eat in here anymore, OK? I hate having to sweep all these crumbs off the bed. He swept off the dust that had gotten all over his new suit.
3. To clear, drive, or convey someone or something off (of something or some place) with quick, powerful, and relentless force. A noun or pronoun is used between "sweep" and "off." A huge wave crashed onto the bridge, sweeping dozens of people off and carrying them out to sea. Hurricane-force winds have been sweeping cars right off the street.
4. To take or escort someone away (from or to some place) very swiftly, abruptly, or unexpectedly. A noun or pronoun is used between "sweep" and "off." The secret police began sweeping political dissidents off to unknown locations, never to be heard from again. Security personnel swept the protestors off the stage after they had had attempted to disrupt the ceremony.
5. To bring someone on a trip or excursion (to some place) in a very romantic or exciting fashion. A noun or pronoun is used between "sweep" and "off." Dan is sweeping me off to Florence for our anniversary next week. The company had a limousine ready to sweep us off to the gala event.
See also: off, sweep

sweep off of (something)

1. To clear something off of something with a quick brushing movement. A noun or pronoun can be used between "sweep" and "off." Don't eat in here anymore, OK? I hate having to sweep all these crumbs off of the bed. He came out of the attic and spent the next 10 minutes sweeping dust off of his clothes. She swept dirt and debris off of the ancient tombstone so she could decipher the inscriptions.
2. To clear, drive, or convey someone or something off (of something or some place) with quick, powerful, and relentless force. A noun or pronoun is used between "sweep" and "off." A huge wave swept dozens of people off of the bridge and carried them out to sea. Hurricane-force winds have been sweeping cars right off of the street.
See also: of, off, sweep

sweep out of (something or some place)

1. To use a sweeping motion, especially with a brush or broom, to clear something out of something or some place all at once. A noun or pronoun is used between "sweep" and "out." You'll need to sweep all this dust out of the computer before you start working on it. The barber swept the hair clippings out of the room.
2. To push, pull, or carry someone or something out of something or some place all at once with a continuous force or movement. A noun or pronoun is used between "sweep" and "out." The gust of wind swept the papers out of my hands and scattered them all around the park. The huge flash flood swept the unfortunate hikers right out of the valley.
3. To force someone or something to leave some position or status very quickly, thoroughly, and unequivocally. 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 swept last year's champions out of the playoffs in the very first round.
See also: of, out, sweep

sweep over (someone or something)

1. Of a liquid or gas, to move over and cover someone or something with great speed and force. A frigid wind swept over us as we neared the summit of the mountain. Floodwaters swept over the small town, with a few survivors stranded on the tops of its tallest buildings.
2. Of a feeling or emotion, to enshroud or overwhelm someone or something very quickly or suddenly. A feeling of existential dread swept over me as I thought about the consequences of my decision. Fear and paranoia swept over the country following the government's declaration.
See also: over, sweep

sweep through

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.
See also: sweep, through

sweep up after (someone or something)

1. To clean up dirt, debris, or some other mess left on the ground by someone by or as by sweeping. I feel like I'm constantly sweeping up after my kids whenever they eat a meal. I swear, more of their food ends up on the floor than in their mouths! Don't worry about making a mess. The cleaners will sweep up after us.
2. To clean up (something or some place) after some event by or as by sweeping. Our scout troop always volunteers to sweep up after the 4th of July parade each year. Please make sure you sweep up after your experiment is done.
3. To hide, resolve, or dispose of something that someone has done, especially when it is negligent, illicit, or illegal. The personal assistant felt like most of his time was spent sweeping up after his boss's foolish indiscretions. How long are you going to keep sweeping up after her, Tom, before she lands the both of you in jail? The new CEO vowed to sweep up after the mistakes of his predecessor.
See also: after, sweep, up

sweep along

to glide along smoothly, as if flying. The sailboat swept along, pushed by the strong wind. The fallen leaves blew up against the fence, swept along by a strong wind.
See also: sweep

sweep in (to some place)

to dash or run into some place. The kids swept into the candy store and bought little bits of things. They swept in and spent all of a dollar before they left.
See also: sweep

sweep in(to some place)

to dash or run into some place. The kids swept into the candy store and bought little bits of things. They swept in and spent all of a dollar before they left.
See also: sweep

sweep off

to exit quickly. He stopped only briefly, then swept off again. Mary swept off, leaving Ted standing there confused.
See also: off, sweep

sweep someone into something

 and sweep someone in
to place someone into an elective position decisively. The decisive victory swept all the candidates of the reform party into office. The victory swept in the candidates.
See also: sweep

sweep someone or something aside

to push or brush someone or something aside. The guards swept the spectators aside as the king's coach approached. They swept aside the spectators.
See also: aside, sweep

sweep someone or something away

to dispose of someone or something by pushing or brushing away. The waves nearly swept us away. The waves caused by the storm swept away all the debris on the beach.
See also: away, sweep

sweep something back

to push or move something backward in the shape of a curve. He took the brush and swept his hair back in a huge wave. She swept back her hair in a striking arrangement.
See also: back, sweep

sweep something down

to clean something by sweeping. Please sweep this floor down whenever you make a mess here. Jeff will sweep down the floor before he goes home.
See also: down, sweep

sweep something into something

 and sweep something in
to move something into something or some place by sweeping. Liz swept the crumbs into the dish. Liz held the dish and swept in the crumbs.
See also: sweep

sweep something off (of) something

 and sweep something off
to remove something by sweeping. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) The waiter swept the crumbs off the tablecloth. He swept off the crumbs.
See also: off, sweep

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.
See also: sweep, up

sweep through

 (something)
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.
See also: sweep, through

sweep up

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.
See also: sweep, up

sweep the board

BRITISH
If someone sweeps the board in a competition or election, they win all the prizes or seats. The women's team has been quite outstanding, sweeping the board in swimming, diving, cycling and weight-lifting. The government swept the board in yesterday's first contested National Assembly elections. Note: This expression comes from card games where players place the money they are betting on a board or table. The image is of the winner sweeping his or her arm across the table to collect all the money.
See also: board, sweep

sweep the board

win all the money in a gambling game; win all possible prizes or rewards.
See also: board, sweep

sweep the ˈboard

win all or most of the prizes, games, money, etc: At the awards ceremony last night France swept the board, with six major prizes.
See also: board, sweep

sweep along

v.
To cause someone or something to be carried along by or as if by a current: The current swept the raft along. Most of the debris was swept along by the river.
See also: sweep

sweep aside

v.
1. To displace someone or something from consideration, contention, or relevance: Our team continues to sweep aside all competition as we head toward the finals. You can get things done in this city if you have enough money to sweep the law aside.
2. To refuse to accept or recognize something; reject something: The chief financial officer swept aside allegations of fraud. I considered the thought of quitting my job for a moment, but I quickly swept it aside.
See also: aside, sweep

sweep away

v.
1. To cause someone or something to be carried away by or as if by a current: The storm swept away the dock. The tornado swept the barn away. I was so swept away by the music that I forgot where I was for a moment.
2. To eliminate something all at once: The accident swept away all my dreams. When the school rejected my admissions application, I felt like they had swept all my hard work away in a matter of seconds.
See also: away, sweep

sweep into

v.
1. To cause something or someone to reach some position decisively or swiftly: The torrential rains swept the houses into the valley below. Their strong campaign swept the candidate into office.
2. To reach some position decisively or swiftly: The Republican Party swept into power. The horse came from behind and swept into first place.
See also: sweep

sweep out

v.
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.
See also: out, sweep

sweep up

v.
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.
See also: sweep, up
References in periodicals archive ?
The fine for interfering with street sweeping is $50.
However if during sweeping the longitudinal axis of the brush head is parallel to the direction of stone travel (as illustrated in Figure 2) there is greatest chance that part of the brush head will sweep the same area of ice more than once on faster moving stones (resulting in much more effective sweeping).
Omar, Membrane Sweeping at Initiation of Formal Labor Induction: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Obstetrics & Gynecology 2006;107:569-577.
The Wisconsin DNR is anxious to see if test results confirm its thoughts about sweeping.
South Savo Rescue Department requested offers sweeping the Ministry of Interior of Regulation (539/2005) cleaning of fireplaces and flues of the chimney-sweeping circuits 12 Kangasniemi and 18 July Water and Enonkoski) areas.
Contract notice: Production of chimney sweeping services sweeping circuits 12 (kangasniemi) and 18 (heinEnvesi and enonkoski) areas.
Contract notice: Sweeping services of joensuu, juuka and tohmajEnrvi sweeping circles.