v. sweat·ed or sweat, sweat·ing, sweats
1. To excrete perspiration through the pores in the skin; perspire.
2. To exude in droplets, as moisture from certain cheeses or sap from a tree.
3. To collect moisture in small drops from the air, as a cold water pipe.
a. To release moisture, as hay in the swath.
b. To ferment, as tobacco during curing.
5. Informal To work long and hard: sweated over his term paper.
6. Informal To fret or worry: Don't sweat over the bills.
a. To excrete (moisture) through a porous surface, such as the skin.
b. To excrete (wastes) in perspiration: sweated out the toxins in the steam room.
2. To have (moisture) condense in small drops on a surface.
3. To cause to perspire, as by drugs, heat, or strenuous exercise: Running for the train got me sweated up.
4. To make damp or wet with perspiration: His shirt was sweated.
a. To cause to work excessively; overwork.
b. To overwork and underpay (employees).
a. To interrogate (someone) under duress: sweated the suspected spy for hours.
b. To extract (information) from someone under duress: The police sweated the information out of the suspect.
7. Metallurgy To join (metal parts) by interposing cold solder and then heating.
8. To steam (vegetables or other food).
9. Informal To fret or worry about: Don't sweat the details.
1. The colorless saline moisture excreted by the sweat glands; perspiration.
2. Condensation of moisture in the form of droplets on a surface.
a. The process of sweating.
b. A condition or instance of sweating: worked up a sweat raking leaves.
4. Strenuous labor or exertion: It took a lot of sweat to move the piano.
5. A run given to a horse as exercise before a race.
6. Informal An anxious, fretful condition: got myself in a sweat over the deadline.
7. sweats Informal
a. A sweatsuit.
sweat out SlangIdioms:
1. To endure anxiously: sweat out an exam.
2. To await (something) anxiously: sweat out one's final grades.
no sweat Slang
1. Easily done or handled.
2. Used to acknowledge an expression of gratitude.
sweat blood Informal
1. To work diligently or strenuously.
2. To worry intensely.
sweat bullets Slang
1. To sweat profusely.
2. To worry intensely.
sweat of (one's) brow
Hard work: landscaped the yard by the sweat of my brow.
[Middle English sweten, from Old English swǣtan; see sweid- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.