Meaning of SWEAT in English

I. ˈswet, usu -ed.+V verb

( sweat “ ; or sweated -ed.ə̇d, -etə̇d ; or dialect swat ˈswät, also -wȯt; usu -äd.+V ; sweat or sweated or dialect swat ; sweating ; sweats )

Etymology: Middle English sweten, from Old English swǣtan, from swāt sweat; akin to Old Frisian & Old Saxon swēt sweat, Old High German sweiz, Old Norse sveiti, Latin sudor sweat, sudare to sweat, Greek hidrōs sweat, Sanskrit svidyati, svedate he sweats

intransitive verb


a. : to excrete moisture in visible quantities through the openings of the sweat glands : perspire

b. : to labor in such a manner as to cause perspiration : work hard : drudge

some can absorb knowledge, the more tardy must sweat for it — T.S.Eliot

now the machines do all the sweating — A.H.Raskin

grunt and sweat under a weary life — Shakespeare



(1) : to emit or exude moisture

green plants sweat when closely packed

cheese in ripening sweats

(2) : to exude oil or other liquid

a varnish that sweats

(3) : to exude nitroglycerin — used of dynamite in which nitroglycerin separates from its adsorbent

b. : to gather surface moisture in beads as a result of condensation

stones sweat at night

the glass is sweating


(1) : ferment — used especially of tobacco or cacao beans

(2) : putrefy — used especially of hides


a. archaic : to suffer an infliction or penalty

b. : to undergo anxiety or mental or emotional distress

grieve and sweat to think of all the time we have let go by and fear disappointments still — O.W.Holmes †1935

4. : to become exuded through pores or a porous surface : ooze

the surplus moisture will sweat out

the oil coat may sweat through this varnish

transitive verb

1. : to emit or seem to emit from pores : exude

the flowers sweat dew


a. : to manipulate or move by hard physical effort

two sooty men intently occupied in sweating a tire on the wheel — Cliff Farrell

machine gunners sweated their weapons up the hill — Georg Meyers

b. : to produce by hard work or drudgery

sweated out one novel after another

stood in front of her cookstove sweating up supper — P.E.Green


a. : to get rid of or lose by or as if by sweating or being sweated — usually used with away or off

sweated away three pounds in the steam room

b. : to reduce the excess weight or bulk of by or as if by sweating — used with down

novel about the peacetime army, sweated down to a fine, muscular picture — Time

4. : to make wet with perspiration

the white shirt and pants he had bought himself … were sweated through — Vicki Baum


a. : to cause to excrete moisture from the skin

his physicians sweated him

b. : to drive hard : overwork

he sweated his crew unmercifully, to prepare them for any emergency

c. : to exact work from at low wages and under unfair or unhealthful conditions

the good employers would have either to sweat the workers like the bad ones, or else be driven out of business — G.B.Shaw

d. slang : to give the third degree to

advise sweating her with everything the police have got — J.M.Cain

6. : to cause to exude or lose moisture: as

a. : to dry thoroughly (as wood in a charcoal pit)

b. : to subject to fermentation (as tobacco leaves or cacao beans)

c. : to putrefy (sheepskins or hides) by exposing to warm, humid air so as to loosen the wool or hair

7. : to extract something valuable from by unfair or dishonest means : bleed , fleece ; specifically : to remove particles of metal (a coin) by abrasion



(1) : to heat (as solder) so as to melt and cause to run especially between surfaces to unite them

sweat soft solder into seams

(2) : to unite by such means

sweat a gold pen to an iridium point


(1) : to heat so as to extract an easily fusible constituent

sweat bismuth ore

(2) : to extract (oil and low-melting material) by heating a substance

sweat oil out of crude paraffin wax

(3) : to cause (as paraffin wax) to sweat

scale wax that has been further sweated to specific melting point ranges — J.B.Tuttle

c. : to expose (citrus fruit) to a high temperature to hasten the coloring

d. : to apply heat to : steam

sweat the finely chopped onions in half the butter until tender — Food & Cookery Review

9. : to hoist, haul, or set (as a sail or rope) as flat or taut as possible — usually used with up

- sweat blood

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English swet, sweet, from sweten to sweat

1. : hard work : drudgery

the engines … saved wages and they saved sweat , but they killed prices — Thomas Wood †1950

2. : the fluid excreted from the sweat glands of the skin : perspiration

in the sweat of your face you shall eat bread — Gen 3:19 (Revised Standard Version)

3. : moisture issuing from or gathering in drops on the surface of any substance or object

sweat formed on the cold pitcher

the sweat of hay in a stack



(1) : the condition of one sweating or sweated

he was in a sweat from fear

apples spoiled by sweat

(2) : a spell of sweating

a good sweat and a cold shower to freshen you up

b. : abnormally profuse sweating in some conditions or diseases — often used in plural

soaking sweats

c. : an exercise given a horse before a race

5. : something that induces or promotes perspiration : sudorific

6. : a sweating process ; specifically : a natural fermentation that takes place during the aging of tobacco and makes it more aromatic and pliable

7. : a state of worry or impatience

the average audience is in such a sweat to learn about the future — W.L.Gresham

8. : chuck-a-luck

9. : sweatband 1

10. chiefly Britain : soldier — used especially in the phrase old sweat

real old sweats with tattooed arms — John Masters

- no sweat

III. transitive verb

1. slang : to worry about

I can't sweat the little things — Johnny Cash

2. slang : harass , annoy , bother

IV. noun

1. sweats plural : sweat suit

2. sweats plural : sweat pants

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.