1. Having wide-ranging influence or effect: sweeping changes.
2. Moving in or as if in a wide curve: a sweeping gesture; a sweeping glance.
3. Indiscriminate; wholesale: sweeping generalizations.
4. Overwhelming; complete: a sweeping victory.
1. The action of one that sweeps.
2. sweepings Things swept up; refuse.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.