of wide range or scope.
moving or passing about over a wide area: a sweeping glance.
moving, driving, or passing steadily and forcibly on.
(of the outcome of a contest) decisive; overwhelming; complete: a sweeping victory.
the act of a person or thing that sweeps.
sweepings, matter swept out or up, as dust, refuse, etc.

1470–80; sweep1 + -ing2, -ing1

sweepingly, adverb

1. extensive, broad, comprehensive.
Dictionary.com Unabridged


1 [sweep]
verb (used with object), swept, sweeping.
to move or remove (dust, dirt, etc.) with or as if with a broom, brush, or the like.
to clear or clean (a floor, room, chimney, etc.) of dirt, litter, or the like, by means of a broom or brush.
to drive or carry by some steady force, as of a wind or wave: The wind swept the snow into drifts.
to pass or draw (something) over a surface with a continuous stroke or movement: The painter swept a brush over his canvas.
to make (a path, opening, etc.) by clearing a space with or as if with a broom.
to clear (a surface, place, etc.) of something on or in it (often followed by of ): to sweep a sea of enemy ships.
to pass over (a surface, region, etc.) with a steady, driving movement or unimpeded course, as winds, floods, etc.: sandstorms sweeping the plains.
to search (an area or building) thoroughly: Soldiers swept the town, looking for deserters.
to pass the gaze, eyes, etc., over (a region, area, etc.): His eyes swept the countryside.
to direct (the eyes, gaze, etc.) over a region, surface, or the like: He swept his eyes over the countryside.
to examine electronically, as to search for a hidden listening device.
to win a complete or overwhelming victory in (a contest): Johnson swept the presidential election of 1964.
to win (every game, round, hand, etc., of a series of contests): The Yankees swept the three-game series.
to pass the fingers or bow over (a musical instrument, its strings or keys, etc.), as in playing.
to bring forth (music) thus.
verb (used without object), swept, sweeping.
to sweep a floor, room, etc., with or as if with a broom: The new broom sweeps well.
to move steadily and strongly or swiftly (usually followed by along, down, by, into, etc.).
to move or pass in a swift but stately manner: Proudly, she swept from the room.
to move, pass, or extend in a continuous course, especially a wide curve or circuit: His glance swept around the room.
to conduct an underwater search by towing a drag under the surface of the water.
Aeronautics. (of an airfoil or its leading or trailing edge) to project from the fuselage at an angle rearward or forward of a line perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the aircraft.
the act of sweeping, especially a moving, removing, clearing, etc., by or as if by the use of a broom: to give the house a good sweep.
the steady, driving motion or swift onward course of something moving with force or without interruption: the sweep of the wind and the waves.
an examination by electronic detection devices of a room or building to determine the presence of hidden listening devices.
a swinging or curving movement or stroke, as of the arm, a weapon, an oar, etc.
reach, range, or compass, as of something sweeping about: the sweep of a road about a marsh.
a continuous extent or stretch: a broad sweep of sand.
a curving, especially widely or gently curving, line, form, part, or mass.
matter removed or gathered by sweeping.
Also called well sweep. a leverlike device for raising or lowering a bucket in a well.
a large oar used in small vessels, sometimes to assist the rudder or to propel the craft.
an overwhelming victory in a contest.
a winning of all the games, rounds, hands, prizes, etc., in a contest by one contestant.
Football. end run.
one of the sails of a windmill.
Agriculture. any of the detachable triangular blades on a cultivator.
Chiefly British. a person employed to clean by sweeping, especially a chimney sweeper.
Whist. the winning of all the tricks in a hand. Compare slam2 ( def 1 ).
Casino. a pairing or combining, and hence taking, of all the cards on the board.
Physics. an irreversible process tending towards thermal equilibrium.

1250–1300; Middle English swepen (v.); compare Old English geswēpa sweepings, derivative of swāpan to sweep (> obsolete English swope); cognate with German schweifen

sweepable, adjective
unsweepable, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To sweeping
World English Dictionary
sweep (swiːp)
vb (often foll by away) , sweeps, sweeping, swept
1.  to clean or clear (a space, chimney, etc) with a brush, broom, etc
2.  (often foll by up) to remove or collect (dirt, rubbish, etc) with a brush, broom, etc
3.  to move in a smooth or continuous manner, esp quickly or forcibly: cars swept along the road
4.  to move in a proud or dignified fashion: she swept past
5.  to spread or pass rapidly across, through, or along (a region, area, etc): the news swept through the town
6.  (tr) to direct (the gaze, line of fire, etc) over; survey
7.  (tr; foll by away or off) to overwhelm emotionally: she was swept away by his charm
8.  (tr) to brush or lightly touch (a surface, etc): the dress swept along the ground
9.  to convey, clear, or abolish, esp with strong or continuous movements: the sea swept the sandcastle away; secondary modern schools were swept away
10.  (intr) to extend gracefully or majestically, esp in a wide circle: the plains sweep down to the sea
11.  to search (a body of water) for mines, etc, by dragging
12.  to search (a room, area, etc) electronically to detect spying devices
13.  (tr) to win overwhelmingly, esp in an election: Labour swept the country
14.  cricket to play (a ball) with a sweep
15.  (tr) to propel (a boat) with sweeps
16.  sweep something under the carpet to conceal (something, esp a problem) in the hope that it will be overlooked by others
17.  sweep the board
 a.  (in gambling) to win all the cards or money
 b.  to win every event or prize in a contest
18.  the act or an instance of sweeping; removal by or as if by a brush or broom
19.  a swift or steady movement, esp in an arc: with a sweep of his arms
20.  the distance, arc, etc, through which something, such as a pendulum, moves
21.  a wide expanse or scope: the sweep of the plains
22.  any curving line or contour
23.  cards
 a.  the winning of every trick in a hand of whist
 b.  the taking, by pairing, of all exposed cards in cassino
24.  short for sweepstake
25.  cricket a shot in which the ball is hit more or less square on the leg side from a half-kneeling position with the bat held nearly horizontal
26.  a.  a long oar used on an open boat
 b.  (Austral) a person steering a surf boat with such an oar
27.  any of the sails of a windmill
28.  electronics a steady horizontal or circular movement of an electron beam across or around the fluorescent screen of a cathode-ray tube
29.  agriculture
 a.  a rakelike attachment for the front of a motor vehicle for pushing hay into piles
 b.  a triangular blade on a cultivator used to cut through roots below the surface of the soil
30.  a curving driveway
31.  chiefly (Brit) See chimney sweep
32.  another name for swipe
33.  clean sweep
 a.  an overwhelming victory or success
 b.  a complete change; purge: to make a clean sweep
[C13 swepen; related to Old English swāpan, Old Norse sveipa; see swipe, swoop]

sweeping (ˈswiːpɪŋ)
1.  comprehensive and wide-ranging: sweeping reforms
2.  indiscriminate or without reservations: sweeping statements
3.  decisive or overwhelming: a sweeping victory
4.  taking in a wide area: a sweeping glance
5.  driving steadily onwards, esp over a large area: a sweeping attack

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

c.1300, perhaps from a past tense form of M.E. swope "sweep," from O.E. swapan "to sweep" (transitive & intransitive); see swoop. The noun meaning "range, extent" is attested from 1679; in ref. to police or military actions, it is attested from 1837. Sense of "a winning of
all the tricks in a card game" is from 1814 (see sweepstakes); extended to other sports by 1960. As a shortened form of chimney-sweeper, first attested 1812.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
His wide-sweeping satirical purpose requires a comprehensive display of human ignorance, folly, and iniquity.
Naturalize them in sweeping drifts where space is available.
The idea was poetic: two friends, a sweeping landscape, a journey of both body
  and soul.
Dancers swing the mask in sweeping motions to represent the arc of the sun.
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