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Sweep, vb. (partic. swept, impf. not found) 1) tr. a) to drive away or to clean as with a besom: “to s. the dust behind the door,” Mids. V, 397. “cobwebs swept,” Shr. IV, 1, 49. “thy lips that kissed the queen shall s. the ground,” H6B IV, 1, 75. “I am the besom that must s. the court clean of such filth,” IV, 7, 34. “they must s. my way,” Hml. III, 4, 204. “some friends that will s. your way for you,” Ant. III, 11, 17.
b) to brush, to carry off as with a brushing stroke: “ears that s. away the morning dew,” Mids. IV, 1, 126. “thus have we swept suspicion from our seat,” H6C V, 7, 13. “unless we s. 'em from the door with cannons,” H8 V, 4, 13. “I could with barefaced power s. him from my sight,” Mcb. III, 1, 119.
c) to drag along, to carry with pride: “let Talbot like a peacock s. along his tail,” H6A III, 3, 6.
d) to pass over or along with swiftness: (choughs) “madly s. the sky,” Mids. III, 2, 23.
2) intr. a) to pass with swiftness: “s. on, you fat and greasy citizens,” As II, 1, 55. “Harry England, that --s through our land with pennons . . .,” H5 III, 5, 48. “lo, where George of Clarence --s along,” H6C V, 1, 76. “that I . . . may s. to my revenge,” Hml. I, 5, 31.
b) with a superfluous it, == to pass with pomp (like a peacock): “she --s it through the court with troops of ladies,” H6B I, 3, 80.
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