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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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.