a knitted jacket or jersey, in pullover or cardigan style, with or without sleeves.
a person or thing that sweats.
an employer who underpays and overworks employees.
of, for, or pertaining to a sweater: sweater yarn; sweater fashions.
made like a sweater: a sweater dress.

1520–30 for def 2; 1880–85 for def 1; sweat + -er1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sweater (ˈswɛtə)
1.  a.  a garment made of knitted or crocheted material covering the upper part of the body, esp a heavy one worn for warmth
 b.  (as modifier): a sweater dress
2.  a person or thing that sweats
3.  an employer who overworks and underpays his employees

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"woolen vest or jersey, originally worn in rowing," 1882, from earlier sweaters "clothing worn to produce sweating and reduce weight" (1828), from sweat (v.). As a fashion garment, attested from 1925. Sweater girl is attested from 1940; Lana Turner (1920-95) was the first,
from her appearance in the film "They Won't Forget" (1937).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


outer garment, usually knitted or crocheted, that is worn on the upper part of the body, either pulled over the head or buttoned down the front or back. Although hand knitting of wool had been practiced for about 2,000 years, it was not until the 15th century that the first knitted shirts or tunics were produced on the English Channel islands of Guernsey and Jersey; hence the English name jersey. The knitted garments were made by the wives of fishermen and sailors from natural wool, which, by retaining its oil, protected against the cold even when damp. The use of the jersey spread throughout Europe, especially among workingmen. In the 1890s it was adopted by athletes in the United States and called a sweater.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Then enjoy a picnic that trades bugs and cold salad for a cozy sweater and
  great down-home food.
Among the facets of the case that raised doubt was a red sweater found at the
  crime scene.
For some, the office cover-up is a sweater, removed and worn around the
  shoulders when outdoors.
The rumpled clothes remain: a brown polo sweater, casual pants and sensible
  leather walking shoes.
Image for sweater
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