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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.

sweep′ing·ly adv.


pl n
debris, litter, or refuse


 a collection of persons or things, 1641; rubbish. See also riff-raff.


plKehricht m, → Dreck m; (fig, of society etc) → Abschaum m
References in classic literature ?
There we were, in that memorable spring of a certain year in the late seventies, dodging to and fro, baffled on every tack, and with our stores running down to sweepings of bread-lockers and scrapings of sugar-casks.
There were dead bees, drones, sweepings, and stale combs, and wings of marauding moths that had strayed in after honey, all tumbled in smooth piles of the finest black dust.
There seemed a deep sense of life and joy about all; and although no airs blew from out the heavens, yet every thing had motion through the gentle sweepings to and fro of innumerable butterflies, that might have been mistaken for tulips with wings.
The soil is composed of three parts of common mould, taken from the best spot of the garden, and one of the sweepings of the road.
Don't laugh at her, or discourage her; let her find comfort in bibs and dust-pans, if she can," whispered Polly to Fan, while Maud took a joyful "header" among the pillows, and came up smiling and blowzy, for she loved house-work, and often got lectured for stolen visits to the kitchen, and surreptitious sweepings and dustings when the coast was clear.
These festivals were preceded by great domestic sweepings and a universal clearing up of the house, which added an element of usefulness to the ceremonies.
I've done enough for it to give me the indisputable right to lay it, if I choose, for an everlast- ing rest in the dust-bin of progress, amongst all the sweepings and, figuratively speaking, all the dead cats of civilization.
Suddenly, he saw, among the sweepings in a corner, something round and white that looked very much like a hen's egg.
Razumov had been admitted twice to that suite of several small dark rooms on the top floor: dusty window-panes, litter of all sorts of sweepings all over the place, half-full glasses of tea forgotten on every table, the two Laspara daughters prowling about enigmatically silent, sleepy-eyed, corsetless, and generally, in their want of shape and the disorder of their rumpled attire, resembling old dolls; the great but obscure Julius, his feet twisted round his three-legged stool, always ready to receive the visitors, the pen instantly dropped, the body screwed round with a striking display of the lofty brow and of the great austere beard.
But in all the bandyings from hand to hand, and strivings to and fro, and sweepings here and there, which--saving that he looked more jolly and more radiant after every struggle--troubled his peace of mind no more than if he had been a straw upon the water's surface, he never once released his firm grasp of an arm, drawn tight through his.
They may be coming hundreds, thousands, of miles over the sea there; they may be close at hand now; they may be coming, for anything you know or anything you can do to prevent it, from the vilest sweepings of this very town.
When he got to Main Street clerks were sweeping the sidewalks before the stores.