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sweet definition


This page has 27 definitions of sweet in English, Afrikaans, and Middle Dutch. Sweet is an adjective, interjection, an adverb, noun and verb. Examples of how to use sweet in a sentence are shown. Also define these 43 related words and terms: pleasant, sugar, acid, sour, bitter, salty, proteinaceous, umami, wine, decay, ferment, rancid, spoiled, stale, pleasing, helpful, mineralogy, excessive, unwanted, substance, agreeable, joey, on, romantic, fixate, enamor, fond, fresh, salt, brackish, taste, confection, candy, dessert, sweetheart, darling, perfume, sweetness, delight, poetic, sweeten, sweat, and perspiration.

See also: Sweet

English sweet definition


From Middle English sweete, swete, from Old English swēte (sweet), from Proto-West Germanic *swōtī, from Proto-Germanic *swōtuz (sweet), from Proto-Indo-European *swéh₂dus (sweet).

Cognate and synonymous with Scots sweit, North Frisian sweete, West Frisian swiet, Low German sööt, Dutch zoet, German süß, Danish sød, Swedish söt, Norwegian søt, Latin suāvis, Sanskrit स्वादु (svādú), Ancient Greek ἡδύς (hēdús). Doublet of suave.



sweet (comparative sweeter, superlative sweetest)

  1. Having a pleasant taste, especially one relating to the basic taste sensation induced by sugar.
    a sweet apple
  2. Having a taste of sugar.
    • Proteinaceous definition
      Of, pertaining to, or consisting of protein
    • Umami definition
      One of the five basic tastes, the savory taste of foods such as seaweed, cured fish, aged cheeses and meats.
  3. (wine) Retaining a portion of sugar.
    Sweet wines are better dessert wines.
  4. Not having a salty taste.
    sweet butter
  5. Having a pleasant smell.
    a sweet scent
  6. Not decaying, fermented, rancid, sour, spoiled, or stale.
    sweet milk
    • Spoiled definition
      simple past tense and past participle of spoil
  7. Having a pleasant sound.
    a sweet tune
  8. Having a pleasing disposition.
    a sweet child
  9. Having a helpful disposition.
    It was sweet of him to help out.
    • Helpful definition
      Furnishing help; giving aid; useful.
  10. (mineralogy) Free from excessive unwanted substances like acid or sulphur.
    sweet gas
    sweet soil
    sweet crude oil
  11. (informal) Very pleasing; agreeable.
    The new Lexus was a sweet birthday gift.
    • 1932, Delos W. Lovelace, King Kong, published 1965, page 1:
      Her crew knew that deep in her heart beat engines fit and able to push her blunt old nose ahead at a sweet fourteen knots, come Hell or high water.
    • 14 November 2014, Steven Haliday, Scotland 1-0 Republic of Ireland: Maloney the hero
      GORDON Strachan enjoyed the sweetest of his 16 matches in charge of Scotland so far as his team enhanced their prospects of Euro 2016 qualification with a crucial and deserved victory over Republic of Ireland.
    • Agreeable definition
      Pleasing, either to the mind or senses; pleasant; grateful. (1 of 4 agreeable definitions)
  12. (slang) Doing well; in a good or happy position.
    • 2012, John Hoskison, Inside: One Man's Experience of Prison:
      "Visit in two days though," said Tommo. "Hang in there mate, got a joey coming, we'll be sweet then."
  13. (informal, followed by on) Romantically fixated, enamoured with, fond of
    The attraction was mutual and instant; they were sweet on one another from first sight.
    • Romantic definition
      Of a work of literature, a writer etc.: being like or having the characteristics of a romance, or poetic tale of a mythic or quasi-historical time; fantastic. (1 of 6 romantic definitions)
    • Enamor definition
      To cause to be in love. (1 of 2 enamor definitions)
  14. (obsolete) Fresh; not salt or brackish.
    sweet water
    • 1627, Francis Bacon, Sylva Sylvarum: or A Natural History, in The Works of Francis Bacon (1826), page 66
      The white of an egg, or blood mingled with salt water, doth gather the saltness and maketh the water sweeter; this may be by adhesion.
    • 1821, Robert Thomas, The modern practice of physic, page 713:
      Nothing has been found so effectual for preserving water sweet at sea, during long voyages, as charring the insides of the casks well before they are filled.
  15. Pleasing to the eye; beautiful; mild and attractive; fair.
    a sweet face
    a sweet colour or complexion



Derived terms


See sweet/translations § Adjective.



  1. Used as a positive response to good news or information.
    They're making a sequel? Ah, sweet!


sweet (comparative more sweet, superlative most sweet)

  1. In a sweet manner.
    • 1598, Shakespeare, Love's Labour Lost, Act 1 Scene 1:
      "and, sweet my child, let them be men of good repute and carriage."
      (and, my child, allow them sweetly to be men with good reputations and conduct)




sweet (countable and uncountable, plural sweets)

  1. (uncountable) The basic taste sensation induced by sugar.
  2. (countable, Britain) A confection made from sugar, or high in sugar content; a candy.
  3. (countable, Britain) A food eaten for dessert.
    Can we see the sweet menu, please?
  4. Sweetheart; darling.
  5. (obsolete) That which is sweet or pleasant in odour; a perfume.
  6. (obsolete) Sweetness, delight; something pleasant to the mind or senses.
    • 1613, John Marston, William Barksted, The Insatiate Countess, III.2:
      Fear's fire to fervency, which makes love's sweet prove nectar.


Derived terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.


sweet (third-person singular simple present sweets, present participle sweeting, simple past and past participle sweeted)

  1. (obsolete or poetic) To sweeten.
    • 1825, John Breckinridge & C.R. Harrison, Western Luminary ... - Volume 1, page 318:
      In size and shape it resembles the heart of a calf, and the interior substance is similar to thick cream, sweeted with fine sugar.
    • 1890, The Cincinnati Lancet-clinic - Volume 63, page 331:
      It might also be given in the form of a mixture — the drug being insoluble in a watery menstruum — suspended by the aid of mucilage and sweeted by any of the various flavoring syrups.
    • 1997, Morag Styles, From the Garden to the Street, →ISBN:
      Bring me now where the warm wind blows, where the grasses sigh, where the sweet-tongued blossom flowers; where the shower, fan soft like a fishermans net thrown through the sweeted air.
    • 2012, Keith Ringkamp, PATIENCE WORTH: A Balm for Every Ill, →ISBN, page 34:
      A sour maketh sweets two-fold sweeted.


Afrikaans sweet definition


Etymology 1

From Dutch zweet, from Middle Dutch sweet, from Old Dutch *sweit, *swēt, from Proto-Germanic *swait-, from Proto-Indo-European *sweyd-.


sweet (uncountable)

  1. sweat
    Daar was baie sweet op haar voorhoof.
    There was a lot of sweat on her forehead.

Etymology 2

From Dutch zweten, from Middle Dutch swêten.


sweet (present sweet, present participle swetende, past participle gesweet)

  1. to sweat

Middle Dutch sweet definition


From Old Dutch *swēt, from Proto-Germanic *swait-.


swêet n

  1. sweat, perspiration


This noun needs an inflection-table template.

Alternative forms

  • sweit

Derived terms


Further reading

  • “sweet”, in Vroegmiddelnederlands Woordenboek[1], 2000
  • Verwijs, E.; Verdam, J., “sweet”, in Middelnederlandsch Woordenboek[2], The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1885–1929, →ISBN