sweat blood


verb (used without object), sweat or sweated, sweating.
to perspire, especially freely or profusely.
to exude moisture, as green plants piled in a heap or cheese.
to gather moisture from the surrounding air by condensation.
(of moisture or liquid) to ooze or be exuded.
Informal. to work hard.
Informal. to experience distress, as from anxiety.
(of tobacco) to ferment.
verb (used with object), sweat or sweated, sweating.
to excrete (perspiration, moisture, etc.) through the pores of the skin.
to exude in drops or small particles: The drying figs sweat tiny drops of moisture.
to send forth or get rid of with or like perspiration (often followed by out or off ).
to wet or stain with perspiration.
to cause (a person, a horse, etc.) to perspire.
to cause to exude moisture, especially as a step in an industrial drying process: to sweat wood.
to earn, produce, or obtain (a result, promotion, compliment, etc.) by hard work.
to cause to lose (weight) as by perspiring or hard work: The hard week's work sweated five pounds off him.
to cause, force, or bring pressure on (a person, an animal, etc.) to work hard.
to employ (workers) at low wages, for long hours, or under other unfavorable conditions.
to labor with meticulous care over: The manufacturer of this beautiful car has really sweated the details.
to obtain or extort (money) from someone.
to extort money from; fleece.
Slang. to subject to severe questioning; give the third degree to.
to heat (an alloy) in order to remove a constituent melting at a lower temperature than the alloy as a whole.
to heat (solder or the like) to melting.
to join (metal objects) by heating and pressing together, usually with solder.
to remove bits of metal from (gold coins) by shaking them against one another, as in a bag. Compare clip1 ( def 4 ).
to cause (tobacco or cocoa) to ferment.
the process of sweating or perspiring.
that which is secreted from sweat glands; perspiration.
a state or a period of sweating.
hard work.
Informal. a state of anxiety or impatience.
a process of inducing sweating or perspiration, or of being sweated, as in medical treatment.
moisture exuded from something or gathered on a surface.
an exuding of moisture, as by a substance.
an inducing of such exudation, as in some industrial process.
a run given to a horse for exercise, as before a race.
sweats, Informal. sweatpants, sweatshirts, sweat suits, or the like.
(of clothes) made to be worn for exercise, sports, or other physical activity.
made of the absorbent fabric used for such clothes: sweat dresses.
of, for, or associated with such clothes: the sweat look in sportswear.
Verb phrases
sweat out, Informal.
to await anxiously the outcome of; endure apprehensively: The accused sweated out the jury's deliberation.
to work arduously at or toward: The director sweated out a camera angle with the cinematographer.
no sweat, Informal. with no difficulty or problem.
sweat blood, Informal.
to be under a strain; work strenuously.
to wait anxiously; worry: He was sweating blood while his friend was being questioned by the police.
sweat bullets, Informal.
to sweat profusely.
to be apprehensive; worry.
sweat it, Informal.
to wait anxiously; endure the best way one can: There was no news of survivors, so all we could do was sweat it.
to worry; be apprehensive: You'll do OK, so don't sweat it.

before 900; 1970–75 for def 6; (v.) Middle English sweten, Old English swǣtan to sweat, derivative of swāt (noun) (> obsolete English swote); (noun) Middle English, alteration of swote, influenced by the v.; cognate with Dutch zweet, German Schweiss, Old Norse sveiti, Sanskrit svedas; akin to Latin sūdor, Greek hidrṓs

sweatless, adjective
nonsweating, adjective
unsweating, adjective

24. See perspiration.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sweat (swɛt)
1.  the secretion from the sweat glands, esp when profuse and visible, as during strenuous activity, from excessive heat, etc; commonly also called perspirationRelated: sudatory, sudorific
2.  the act or process of secreting this fluid
3.  the act of inducing the exudation of moisture
4.  drops of moisture given forth or gathered on the surface of something
5.  informal a state or condition of worry or eagerness (esp in the phrase in a sweat)
6.  slang drudgery or hard labour: mowing lawns is a real sweat!
7.  chiefly (US) an exercise gallop given to a horse, esp on the day of a race
8.  slang chiefly (Brit) a soldier, esp one who is old and experienced
9.  slang (interjection) no sweat! an expression suggesting that something can be done without problems or difficulty
vb , sweats, sweating, sweat, sweated
10.  to secrete (sweat) through the pores of the skin, esp profusely
11.  (tr) to make wet or stain with sweat
12.  to give forth or cause to give forth (moisture) in droplets: a sweating cheese; the maple sweats sap
13.  (intr) to collect and condense moisture on an outer surface: a glass of beer sweating in the sun
14.  (intr) (of a liquid) to pass through a porous surface in droplets
15.  (of tobacco leaves, cut and dried hay, etc) to exude moisture and, sometimes, begin to ferment or to cause (tobacco leaves, etc) to exude moisture
16.  (tr) to heat (food, esp vegetables) slowly in butter in a tightly closed saucepan
17.  (tr) to join (pieces of metal) by pressing together and heating
18.  (tr) to heat (solder) until it melts
19.  (tr) to heat (a partially fused metal) to extract an easily fusible constituent
20.  to shake together (coins, esp gold coins) so as to remove particles for illegal use
21.  informal to suffer anxiety, impatience, or distress
22.  informal to overwork or be overworked
23.  informal (tr) to employ at very low wages and under bad conditions
24.  informal (tr) to extort, esp by torture: to sweat information out of a captive
25.  informal (intr) to suffer punishment: you'll sweat for this!
26.  informal sweat blood
 a.  to work very hard
 b.  to be filled with anxiety or impatience
Related: sudatory, sudorific
[Old English swætan to sweat, from swāt sweat; related to Old Saxon swēt, Old Norse sveiti, Old High German sweiz, Latin sūdor, Sanskrit svedas]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. swætan "perspire, work hard." The noun is from O.E. swat "sweat" (which became M.E. swote, but altered under the influence of the verb), from P.Gmc. *swaita (cf. O.S., O.Fris. swet, O.N. sveiti, Dan. sved "sweat," Swed. svett, M.Du. sweet, Du. zweet, O.H.G. sweiz, Ger. Schweiß), from
PIE *sweid-/*swoid- (cf. Skt. svedah "sweat," Avestan xvaeda- "sweat," Gk. hidros "sweat, perspiration," L. sudor, Lett. swiedri, Welsh chwys "sweat"). Meaning "to be worried, vexed" is recorded from c.1400. Sweatshirt first recorded 1929; sweatpants is from 1957. Sweat equity is from 1968.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

sweat (swět)
v. sweat·ed or sweat, sweat·ing, sweats
To excrete perspiration through the pores in the skin; perspire. n.

  1. The colorless saline moisture excreted by the sweat glands; perspiration.

  2. The process of sweating.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
sweat   (swět)  Pronunciation Key 
The salty liquid given off by sweat glands in the skin of mammals. As sweat evaporates, the skin cools, causing a reduction in body heat.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

sweat blood

  1. Also, . Work diligently or strenuously, as in The men were sweating blood to finish the roof before the storm hit. The phrase using guts was first used about 1890, and that with blood shortly thereafter.

  2. Suffer mental anguish, worry intensely, as in Waiting for the test results, I was sweating blood. This usage was first recorded in a work by D.H. Lawrence in 1924. Both usages are colloquial, and allude to the agony of Jesus in Gethsemane (Luke 22:44): "And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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