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[swet-shop] /ˈswɛtˌʃɒp/
a shop employing workers at low wages, for long hours, and under poor conditions.
1865-70; sweat + shop Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sweatshops
  • Many of the companies directly running sweatshops are small and don't have much name recognition.
  • We do not generally relegate capitalism to the shelf of unspeakable evils whenever human trafficking or sweatshops are unearthed.
  • Counterfeiting is as diverse as any legal business, ranging from back-street sweatshops to full-scale factories.
  • If you're interested in overpriced trinkets churned out in sweatshops, take your cabby's offer.
  • In some cases, illegal aliens are held in sweatshops under conditions of involuntary servitude.
  • Weak eyes and other eye problems from working in dimly lit sweatshops.
  • sweatshops produced life threatening working conditions for work with no fire exits and crowded work areas.
British Dictionary definitions for sweatshops


a workshop where employees work long hours under bad conditions for low wages
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sweatshops



1892, from sweat + shop (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sweatshops in Culture

sweatshop definition

A small factory or shop in which employees are poorly paid and work under adverse conditions. Sweatshops were especially common in the garment industry during the early twentieth century.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for sweatshops

sweat something out of someone

verb phrase

To discover by intimidation or harsh questioning (1940s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Encyclopedia Article for sweatshops


workplace in which workers are employed at low wages and under unhealthy or oppressive conditions. In England, the word sweater was used as early as 1850 to describe an employer who exacted monotonous work for very low wages. "Sweating" became widespread in the 1880s, when immigrants from eastern and southern Europe provided an influx of cheap labour in the United States and central Europe. An increase in industrialization in the 20th century saw sweatshops emerge in parts of Latin America and Asia, a trend that accelerated with increased demand for consumer goods in the West and a lowering of international trade barriers.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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