(redirected from sweeps)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Idioms, Wikipedia.


1. the distance, arc, etc., through which something, such as a pendulum, moves
2. Cards
a. the winning of every trick in a hand of whist
b. the taking, by pairing, of all exposed cards in cassino
3. short for sweepstake
4. 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
a. a long oar used on an open boat
b. Austral a person steering a surf boat with such an oar
6. any of the sails of a windmill
7. Electronics a steady horizontal or circular movement of an electron beam across or around the fluorescent screen of a cathode-ray tube
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a special device on minesweepers and helicopters that is used for the detection and destruction of mines (see). There are ship, motorboat, airplane, and coastal sweeps; sweeps adapted for river use are called river sweeps. Depending on their design and how they are used, sweeps are classified as single-ship, double-ship, surface, deep-water and bottom sweeps.

Sweeps are subdivided into two categories, depending on whether they make contact with the mines. Contact sweeps are intended for the destruction of moored contact mines; they may tow or mark the mines or cut the mooring lines. Noncontact or influence sweeps are designed to destroy bottom mines. They generate a magnetic, electromagnetic, or hydrodynamic field when moved, thus simulating the motion of a ship and actuating the mine fuzes.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about sweeping?

A dream about sweeping is likely about clearing away something, either feelings or something else in our life we want to “clean up.” A dream about sweeping could also be drawing on one of the many expressions that use “sweep” metaphorically, such as “making a clean sweep,” “sweeping something under the carpet,” or “sweeping someone off their feet.”

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


The steady movement of the electron beam across the screen of a cathode-ray tube, producing a steady bright line when no signal is present; the line is straight for a linear sweep and circular for a circular sweep.
The steady change in the output frequency of a signal generator from one limit of its range to the other.
A profile pattern used to form molds for symmetrical articles made by sweep casting.
Swift flight of a formation of combat airplanes over enemy territory.
To cover a wide area with gunfire.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. Said of any large form or mass that curves; for example, the sweep of a curved wall.
2. A long pole, pivoted on a vertical post, to which a bucket is attached at one end; used to raise water from a well.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
He said: "My promise with the Complete Sweep is to combine the best aspects of a traditional sweep service with contemporary knowledge about all aspects of flue and stove maintenance, and modern technology, when appropriate.
The sweep must comply with the applicable NFPA 211 Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances.
Still, says Dawn, most sweeps are self-employed and need to know more than how to clean chimneys.
The sweeps were 180-m long and were composed of 5-cm (2-inch) diameter combination rope constructed of steel cable covered with polyethylene fiber.
It got me thinking of the old days and I'm now asking readers if they can remember that essential workman, the chimney sweep - it's hard to find one nowadays and they are probably known now as chimney technicians.
Sweeps Hill: useful bumper performer makes hurdling debut
Rates of pay for self-employed chimney sweeps will vary according to how much work they have.
Yesterday, the National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS) warned that a new fashion for real fires had left the whole of the UK with a shortage of fully-trained sweeps.
You probably think that life in the asylum was terribly boring for the chimney sweeps, but nothing could be farther from the truth.
Given the current (at the time of the study) status of the mill, i.e., with the weighted average values for LRF and lumber value yield, respectively, of 7.5 BF/[ft.sup.3] and $3.39/[ft.sup.3] foot of log input as a basis, the potential incremental improvements in lumber yields from the curve sawing of input logs with greater proportions of 3- and 4-inch sweeps could then be assessed.
But some hi-tech sweeps do use video cameras and high-powered vacuums to blast through the soot that clogs fireplaces - which can lead to devastating fires or cause poisonous carbon monoxide fumes.
The data also include annual series on the percentage allocation of DD sweeps into each of the four linked investment accounts.