The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Sweep \Sweep\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Swept; p. pr. & vb. n.
Sweeping.] [OE. swepen; akin to AS. sw[=a]pan. See Swoop,
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.
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.
I have already swept the stakes. --Dryden.
3. To brush against or over; to rub lightly along.
Their long descending train,
With rubies edged and sapphires, swept the plain.
4. To carry with a long, swinging, or dragging motion; hence,
to carry in a stately or proud fashion.
And like a peacock sweep along his tail. --Shak.
5. To strike with a long stroke.
Wake into voice each silent string,
And sweep the sounding lyre. --Pope.
6. (Naut.) To draw or drag something over; as, to sweep the
bottom of a river with a net.
7. To pass over, or traverse, with the eye or with an
instrument of observation; as, to sweep the heavens with a
To sweep a mold or To sweep up a mold (Founding), to form
the sand into a mold by a templet, instead of compressing
it around the pattern.