Sweeped or swept

To sweep is to move quickly or to use a broom to move something such as dust. In sporting, especially American baseball, a team can sweep a series of games with an opponent by winning each one. The past tense and the past participle have the same spelling: swept.

Unlike leap and bless, this word does not have a less common variation. Sweeped is not a dictionary-recognized word. Some less reputable online dictionaries list it as an obsolete past tense of sweep. If so, it has been obsolete since at least the early 1800s.

Being swept up in something means to be along for the ride, partially unable to stop. A synonym is caught up.


Behemoth Canadian pension fund the $US180 billion ($237bn) Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec has swept into the Australian commercial property sector partnering with private equity giant Blackstone to buy a quarter stake in the nearly $1bn Liberty Place office tower, in Sydney’s central business district. [The Australian]

Channeling the spirit of my pioneer ancestors, I swept the porch, tidied the cabin and labored for hours, making soup and baking mulberry cake in the fireplace. [The New York Times]

The Canadiens swept the series in four games to win their record fifth consecutive Stanley Cup. [The Herald]

The defence lawyer for Sandro Lisi’s co-accused asserted his client got swept up in the massive police investigation into former mayor Rob Ford’s buddy, the drug trial heard Thursday. [Toronto Sun]

1 thought on “Sweeped or swept”

  1. Isn’t this analogous to the “dived” versus “dove” ambivalence? She dove in the river. He dived in to save her.

    I guess like noone, which no one much likes to see fused (at least not without either the pointlessly lazy dash no-one or much better and virtually unheard of diaeresis noöne) … and the reason for its censure being the much more common word noon in front, dove is the bird, pronounced (duhv) and dove the past-tense verb is (dohv). Can you read what I read? Etc.



Leave a Comment