Definition of sweet in English:

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Pronunciation: /swēt/


1Having the pleasant taste characteristic of sugar or honey; not salty, sour, or bitter: a cup of hot sweet tea figurative a sweet taste of success
More example sentences
  • They all exhibit sour, salty, sweet, and bitter tastes or can be any combination of the four.
  • Human taste buds react to four tastes: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter.
  • Some people taking the drug simply complain that food has lost its taste, but others report a strongly metallic bitter or sweet taste.
sugary, sweetened, saccharine;
sugared, honeyed, candied, glacé;
sickly, cloying
1.1(Of air, water, or food) fresh, pure, and untainted: lungfuls of the clean, sweet air
More example sentences
  • She enjoyed the shade that the rustling green canopy gave herself and her boyfriend as they sat together, breathing the fresh and sweet air.
  • There breathes in the face a sweet air of the purest grace, with the hair gathered simply, and all the lineaments are formed to beauty and to modesty.
  • Fresh, sweet air breezed past Shana's head, her fawn-colored hair streaming behind her in the gust.
pure, wholesome, fresh, clean, clear
1.2 [often in combination] Smelling pleasant like flowers or perfume; fragrant: sweet-scented flowers
More example sentences
  • I took in a deep breath and smelled the flowers' sweet fragrance.
  • Never again would she see her mom's sparkling blue eyes when Lillie told her one of her lame jokes, or smell the sweet fragranced perfume her mother always wore.
  • Up closer he could smell the sweet scent of her perfume, he only just realised too how incredibly beautiful she was.
fragrant, aromatic, perfumed
literary ambrosial
2Pleasing in general; delightful: it was the sweet life he had always craved
More example sentences
  • It's a sweet deal for General Motors, which snags 2% of world market share for a pittance.
  • Though her sense of swing is evolving, Bode's unpretentious delivery, easy phrasing and sweet demeanor is delightful.
  • The anger brought the sweet delight from avenging one's own hurt feelings ‘he deserves worse’.
pleasant, pleasing, pleasurable, agreeable, delightful, nice, satisfying, gratifying, good, acceptable, fine
informal lovely, great
2.1Highly satisfying or gratifying: some sweet, short-lived revenge
More example sentences
  • The influence of punk is quite sweet and gratifying.
  • Derry Rovers Youths gained sweet revenge over rivals Spink Celtic in this Shield match played in the Ben Mulhall Park on Sunday, April 7.
  • They are tales of brutal death and sweet revenge, savage slayings and cryptic final words - stories that lift the coffin lid on Yorkshire's grisly past.
2.2 [often as exclamation] informal Used in expressions of assent or approval: Yeah, I’d like to come to the party. Sweet
2.3Working, moving, or done smoothly or easily: the sweet handling of this motorcycle
More example sentences
  • Performance and drivability are enhanced by a sweet clutch/gearbox combination, giving smooth changes.
  • I've personally been a revolver man in my later years and I adapt very easily to the LDA's sweet and light action.
2.4(Of sound) melodious or harmonious: the sweet notes of the flute
More example sentences
  • Ears still stand up, but for the sweet sounds of the silver lining in the music they make together.
  • To walk across fields and meadows in early summer and no longer see a speck in the sky and hear a sweet trill like song and crescendo of melodic notes from the skylark.
  • The sweet sounds of Bach echoed in a seemingly empty loft.
dulcet, melodious, lyrical, mellifluous, musical, tuneful, soft, harmonious, silvery, honeyed, mellow, rich, golden
2.5chiefly US Denoting music, especially jazz, played at a steady tempo without improvisation.
Example sentences
  • Eastwood After Hours is a disc filled with passionate music, a lot of fun and some sweet, sweet jazz music.
  • The music picked up the tempo and overhead a saxophone played sweet jazz.
  • On ‘Feel Free’ Peter Nelson waxes spiritual over a sweet reggae beat.
3(Of a person or action) pleasant and kind or thoughtful: a very sweet nurse came along
More example sentences
  • But you better not cross her, because even though she's mostly sweet and nice and very pretty, she's not afraid to write a song about you if she has to.
  • I always thought that you were sweet and nice, and you were always there for me.
  • Alyssa had known Valerie for a couple of months then and thought Valerie was a sweet person.
likable, appealing, engaging, amiable, pleasant, agreeable, genial, friendly, nice, kind, thoughtful, considerate;
charming, enchanting, captivating, delightful, lovely
3.1(Especially of a person or animal) charming and endearing: a sweet little cat
More example sentences
  • It's a rather sweet and endearing little premise, one which the folks behind this film are hoping that coveted tween market might enjoy.
  • Haden has an endearing and sweet voice and Frisell's guitar is just as elegant and persuasive.
  • Once again, he blew everyone away with his sweet voice and endearing songs about love and loss.
cute, lovable, adorable, endearing, charming, attractive, dear
3.2 [predicative] (sweet on) informal, dated Infatuated or in love with: she seemed quite sweet on him
More example sentences
  • Yep, I think she's sweet on him.
  • I noticed that he was kind of sweet on one of the waitresses there.
  • Me and him were sweet on each other when we were just knee high.
fond of, taken with, attracted to, in love with, enamored of, captivated by, infatuated with, keen on, devoted to, smitten with, moonstruck by
informal mad about, bowled over by
3.3Dear; beloved: my sweet love
dear, dearest, darling, beloved, loved, cherished, precious, treasured
3.4 archaic Used as a respectful form of address: go to thy rest, sweet sir
4Used for emphasis in various phrases and exclamations: What had happened? Sweet nothing
More example sentences
  • There was about her, in George Eliot's lovely phrase, ‘the sweet presence of a good diffused’.
  • In fact, I'd like to think that, were the incident to recur today, I would politely shove him to the ground, dole out a few sweet phrases, and send him packing.
4.1 (one's own sweet ——) Used to emphasize the unpredictable individuality of someone’s actions: I’d rather carry on in my own sweet way
More example sentences
  • His hotel escapade worries his parents, but all ends well on a moonlit beach with Muriel, while the older couples arrive at their own sweet (Nat and Essie) or bittersweet (Lily and Sid) conclusions.
  • This they can do only by their own sweet will - no married couple is in any case legally bound to do so.
  • He said the reports showed that some people needed a ‘yank into the 21st century… they have continued in their own sweet way for a long time’.


1chiefly British A small shaped piece of confectionery made with sugar: a bag of sweets
More example sentences
  • Halvais have produced as many variations on their themes as European confectioners have on boiled sugar sweets.
  • Casey James Confectionery Store has sold sweets and candies on St Mary's Street, off the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, since 1954.
  • Another point to stress is that they do not seem to have candies or sweets for children: sugar is in short supply and regarded
2 (sweets) Sweet foods, collectively: Americans eat too many sweets
2.1British A sweet dish forming a course of a meal; a dessert: she served up a lovely sweet made with whipped chestnuts and almond paste
More example sentences
  • Pudding was rose - flavoured chum chum sweetmeats, lachedar rabri, a milk sweet, and tila kulfi - Indian ice cream on a stick, delivered by cart.
  • A number of desserts and sweets have a national presence, principally a group of milk desserts of the flan or caramel custard family.
  • Faced with multiple sweets and puddings, I simply reclined and used the best of the divan.
3Used as an affectionate form of address to a person one is very fond of: hello, my sweet
dear, darling, dearest, love, sweetheart, beloved, honey, hon, pet, treasure, angel
4 (the sweet) archaic or literary The sweet part or element of something: you have had the bitter, now comes the sweet
4.1 (sweets) The pleasures or delights found in something: the sweets of office
More example sentences
  • Or is this repertoire of sweets a taste of things to come for the Indian team?



sweet dreams

Used to express good wishes to a person going to bed.
Example sentences
  • The girls complied, and Nicole peeked into the living room to wish her mother sweet dreams before going to bed.
  • After so many years Julie had gotten used to putting herself to bed, but that never changed the fact that she wished someone would be there to tuck her in, and wish her sweet dreams.
  • Amy smiled, wished him sweet dreams, and walked into her room.

sweet sixteen

Used to refer to the age of sixteen as characterized by prettiness and innocence in a girl.
Example sentences
  • It only happens once in a lifetime to enjoy a girl's sweet sixteen.
  • All these years later Im absolutely proud of my sweet sixteen, who has trooped around the world with dad, three continents, five states, and a hundred sad goodbyes.
  • The participants range from pre-teen to sweet sixteen.



Pronunciation: /ˈswēdiSH/
Example sentences
  • It was a big salad, served with sweetish bread - although my lovely companion complained of an over-abundance of melon slices, this wasn't a problem for me.
  • The best-known dressing-up dish is kimchee, vegetables pickled in sweetish but mostly hot red chili paste touched with garlic and ginger.
  • Lieb is sweetish, low in acidity and suited to drinking without food but at best it is a well-constructed and very commercial wine that appeals to the uninitiated wine drinker.


Old English swēte, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zoet, German süss, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin suavis and Greek hēdus.

  • The original use of this was for the taste, the ‘dessert’, and ‘confectionery’ senses only dating from the 19th century. The slang use sweet on, ‘infatuated with’, dates from the mid 18th century, while the meaning ‘fine, good’ was originally Australian, from the 1890s. The Fanny Adams in sweet Fanny Adams, ‘absolutely nothing at all’, really existed. She was the unfortunate young victim in a brutal murder of 1867, whose body was mutilated and cut up by her killer. By the end of the century sailors in the Royal Navy were using her name, with gruesome black humour, as a slang term for a type of tinned meat or stew. The current meaning arose in the early 20th century and is sometimes shortened to sweet FA. People often translate FA here as standing for F— All, but this was not the expression's origin. The phrase sweetness and light was first used by Jonathan Swift in The Battle of the Books (1704). Both are produced by bees: ‘Instead of dirt and poison, we have rather chosen to fill our hives with honey and wax, thus furnishing mankind with the two noblest things, which are sweetness and light.’ Later the phrase was taken up by Matthew Arnold in Culture and Anarchy (1869), where he used it with aesthetic and moral reference: ‘The pursuit of perfection, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light.’

Words that rhyme with sweet

accrete, autocomplete, beet, bittersweet, bleat, cheat, cleat, clubfeet, compete, compleat, complete, conceit, Crete, deceit, delete, deplete, discreet, discrete, eat, effete, élite, entreat, escheat, estreat, excrete, feat, feet, fleet, gîte, greet, heat, leat, leet, Magritte, maltreat, marguerite, meat, meet, meet-and-greet, mesquite, mete, mistreat, neat, outcompete, peat, Pete, petite, pleat, receipt, replete, sangeet, seat, secrete, sheet, skeet, sleet, splay-feet, street, suite, teat, treat, tweet, wheat

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sweet

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