1. To pass a broom across (a surface) so as to remove loose dirt, dust, etc.; to brush, or rub over, with a broom for the purpose of cleaning; as, to sweep a floor, the street, or a chimney. Used also figuratively. I will sweep it with the besom of destruction. (isa. Xiv. 23)
2. To drive or carry along or off with a broom or a brush, or as if with a broom; to remove by, or as if by, brushing; as, to sweep dirt from a floor; the wind sweeps the snow from the hills; a freshet sweeps away a dam, timber, or rubbish; a pestilence sweeps off multitudes. The hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies. (isa. Xxviii. 17) I have already swept the stakes. (Dryden)
7. To pass over, or traverse, with the eye or with an instrument of observation; as, to sweep the heavens with a telescope. To sweep, or sweep up, a mold, to form the sand into a mold by a templet, instead of compressing it around the pattern.
Origin: OE. Swepen; akin to AS. Swapan. See Swoop.
1. The act of sweeping.
6. Direction and extent of any motion not rectlinear; as, the sweep of a compass.
8. One who sweeps; a sweeper; specifically, a chimney sweeper.
10. The mold of a ship when she begins to curve in at the rungheads; any part of a ship shaped in a segment of a circle. A large oar used in small vessels, partly to propel them and partly to steer them.
12. A long pole, or piece of timber, moved on a horizontal fulcrum fixed to a tall post and used to raise and lower a bucket in a well for drawing water. [Variously written swape, sweep, swepe, and swipe.
14. The sweeping of workshops where precious metals are worked, containing filings, etc. Sweep net, a net for drawing over a large compass. Sweep of the tiller, a circular frame on which the tiller traverses.
2. To brush swiftly over the surface of anything; to pass with switness and force, as if brushing the surface of anything; to move in a stately manner; as, the wind sweeps across the plain; a woman sweeps through a drawing-room.
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... insist. The fibers are nothing more than lint from clothing, tissues or bandages. And the hypochondria is being spread thanks to sensational "sweeps week" TV news reports and Web sites, which reinforce the beliefs of psychologically vulnerable people that they have contracted a new disease. ...
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... order to form new individuals (no one ever being the same), the parent individuals remain the same as they were until age or some external cause sweeps them out of existence. Remark: Of course not only genetic diversity causes individuality - the more complex an organism is the greater will be ...
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