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SWEEP, verb transitive preterit tense and participle passive swept.

1. To brush or rub over with a brush, broom or besom, for removing loose dirt; to clean by brushing; as, to sweep a chimney or a floor. When we say, to sweep a room, we mean, to sweep the floor of the room; and to sweep the house, is to sweep the floors of the house.

2. To carry with a long swinging or dragging motion; to carry with pomp.

And like a peacock, sweep along his tail.

3. To drive or carry along or off by a long brushing stroke or force, or by flowing on the earth. Thus the wind sweeps the snow from the tops of the hills; a river sweeps away a dam, timber or rubbish; a flood sweeps away a bridge or a house. Hence,

4. To drive, destroy or carry off many at a stroke, or with celerity and violence; as, a pestilence sweeps off multitudes in a few days. The conflagration swept away whole streets of houses.

I have already swept the stakes.

5. To rub over.

Their long descending train,

With rubies edg'd and sapphires, swept the plain.

6. To strike with a long stroke.

Wake into voice each silent string,

And sweep the sounding lyre.

7. To draw or drag over; as, to sweep the bottom of a river with a net, or with the bight of a rope, to hook an anchor.

SWEEP, verb intransitive To pass with swiftness and violence, as something broad or brushing the surface of any thing; as a sweeping rain; a sweeping flood. A fowl that flies near the surface of land or water, is said to sweep along near the surface.

1. To pass over or brush along with celerity and force; as, the wind sweeps along the plain.

2. To pass with pomp; as, a person sweeps along with a trail.

She sweeps it through the court with troops of ladies.

3. To move with a long reach; as a sweeping stroke.

SWEEP, noun The act of sweeping.

1. The compass of a stroke; as a long sweep

2. The compass of any turning body or motion; as the sweep of a door.

3. The compass of any thing flowing or brushing; as, the flood carried away every thing within its sweep

4. Violent and general destruction; as the sweep of an epidemic disease.

5. Direction of any motion not rectilinear; as the sweep of a compass.

6. The mold of a ship when she begins to compass in, at the rung heads; also, any part of a ship shaped by the segment of a circle; as a floor-sweep; a back-sweep, etc.

7. Among refiners of metals, the almost-furnace.

8. Among seamen, a large oar, used to assist the rudder in turning a ship in a calm, or to increase her velocity in a chase, etc.

SWEEP of the tiller, a circular frame on which the tiller traverses in large ships.