any of the fishes of the genera Parapriaeanthus or Pempheris, in the family Pempheridae (order Perciformes), all of which occur in marine or brackish waters in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans. Sweepers have elongate-oval, compressed bodies with well-developed fins and tail. The eyes are unusually large. A few species have luminescent organs along the body. The glassy sweeper (Pempheris schomburgki) of the western Atlantic is the only representative along the North American coasts. No species occur in the eastern Atlantic.
Learn more about sweeper with a free trial on Britannica.com.