1an act of sweeping something with a brush:I was giving the floor a quick sweep 2a long, swift curving movement:a grandiose sweep of his hand Electronics the movement of a beam across the screen of a cathode ray tube. Cricket an attacking stroke in which the bat is brought across the body from a half-kneeling position to hit the ball to leg. 3a comprehensive search or survey of a place or area:the police finished their sweep through the woods
) North American a survey of the ratings of television stations, carried out at regular intervals to determine advertising rates.
4a long, typically curved stretch of road, river, country, etc.:we could see a wide sweep of country perhaps a hundred miles across a curved part of a drive in front of a building:one fork of the drive continued on to the gravel sweep the range or scope of something:the whole sweep of the history of the USSR 6North American an instance of winning every event, award, or place in a contest:a World Series sweep 7a long, heavy oar used to row a barge or other vessel: [as modifier]:a big, heavy sweep oar
9a long pole mounted as a lever for raising buckets from a well. 1clean (an area) by brushing away dirt or litter:I’ve swept the floor Greg swept out the kitchen [with object and adverbial of direction] move or remove (dirt or litter) by brushing it away:she swept the tea leaves into a dustpan [with object and adverbial of direction] move or push (someone or something) with great force:I was swept along by the crowd figurativeNahum’s smile swept away the air of apprehensive gloom [with object and adverbial of direction] brush (hair) back from one’s face or upwards:long hair swept up into a high chignon Cricket hit (the ball) on the leg side by bringing the bat across the body from a half-kneeling position; hit a ball delivered by (a bowler) with such a stroke. 2 [no object, with adverbial of direction] move swiftly and smoothly:a large black car swept past the open windows figurativehis cool grey eyes swept over her (of a person) move in a confident and stately manner:she swept magnificently from the hall affect (an area or place) swiftly and widely:the rebellion had swept through all four of the country’s provinces [with object]:violence swept the country (of a geographical or natural feature) extend continuously in a particular direction, especially in a curve:green forests swept down the hillsides [with object] North American win all the games in (a series); take each of the winning or main places in (a contest or event):we knew we had to sweep these three home games
3search (an area) for something:the detective swept the room for hair and fingerprints examine (something) for electronic listening devices:the line is swept every fifteen minutes cover (an entire area) with a gun:they were trying to get the Lewis gun up behind some trees from where they would sweep the trench