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  • enPR: swĕt, IPA(key): /swɛt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛt

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English swete, swet, swate, swote, from Old English swāt, from Proto-Germanic *swait-, *swaitą, from Proto-Indo-European *swoyd- (to sweat), o-grade of *sweyd- (to sweat). Cognate with West Frisian swit, Dutch zweet, German Schweiß, Danish sved, Swedish svett, Yiddish שוויצן(shvitsn) (English shvitz), Latin sudor, French sueur, Italian sudore, Spanish sudor, Persian خوی(xway), Sanskrit स्वेद (svéda), Latvian sviedri, Tocharian B syā-, and Albanian djersë.


sweat (usually uncountable, plural sweats)

  1. Fluid that exits the body through pores in the skin usually due to physical stress and/or high temperature for the purpose of regulating body temperature and removing certain compounds from the circulation.
  2. (Britain, slang, military slang, especially WWI) A soldier (especially one who is old or experienced).
  3. (historical) The sweating sickness.
    • 2009, Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall, Fourth Estate 2010, page 131:
      When the sweat comes back this summer, 1528, people say, as they did last year, that you won't get it if you don't think about it.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Holinshed to this entry?)
  4. Moisture issuing from any substance.
    the sweat of hay or grain in a mow or stack
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Mortimer to this entry?)
  5. A short run by a racehorse as a form of exercise.
  6. (uncountable) Hard work; toil.
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English sweten, from Old English swǣtan, from Proto-Germanic *swaitijaną (to sweat). Compare Dutch zweten, German schwitzen, Danish svede.


sweat (third-person singular simple present sweats, present participle sweating, simple past and past participle sweated or sweat)

  1. (intransitive) To emit sweat.
    Synonym: perspire
  2. (transitive) To cause to excrete moisture from the skin; to cause to perspire.
    His physicians attempted to sweat him by most powerful sudorifics.
  3. (intransitive, informal) To work hard.
    Synonyms: slave, slog
    I've been sweating over my essay all day.
  4. (transitive, informal) To extract money, labour, etc. from, by exaction or oppression.
    to sweat a spendthrift
    to sweat labourers
  5. (intransitive, informal) To worry.
    Synonyms: fret, worry
  6. (transitive, colloquial) To worry about (something). [from 20th c.]
    • 2010, Brooks Barnes, "Studios battle to save Narnia", The New York Times, 5 Dec 2010:
      There are few matters studio executives sweat more than maintaining their franchises.
  7. (transitive) To emit, in the manner of sweat.
    to sweat blood
    • Dryden
      With exercise she sweat ill humors out.
  8. (intransitive) To emit moisture.
    The cheese will start sweating if you don't refrigerate it.
  9. (intransitive, plumbing) To solder (a pipe joint) together.
  10. (transitive, slang) To stress out.
    Stop sweatin' me!
  11. (transitive, intransitive, cooking) To cook slowly in shallow oil without browning.
  12. (transitive, archaic) To remove a portion of (a coin), as by shaking it with others in a bag, so that the friction wears off a small quantity of the metal.
    • R. Cobden
      The only use of it [money] which is interdicted is to put it in circulation again after having diminished its weight by sweating, or otherwise, because the quantity of metal contains is no longer consistent with its impression.
Derived termsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Related termsEdit




Borrowed from English sweatshirt.



sweat m (plural sweats)

  1. sweatshirt
    Les sweats à capuche sont interdits dans certains lieux publics en Grande-Bretagne.
    Hoodies are prohibited in some places in Great Britain.