When your body releases water to cool itself down, it sweats. Bodies also sweat because of nervousness or fear:

simplepastpast participle
sweat or sweated
sweat or sweated
  • sweating in the sun Everyone sweats when it’s hot outside. He’s sweating. His body is sweaty. Sweat is dripping off of his forehead.
  • sweating over a test He’s sweating because he’s nervous.
  • sweating because of fear He’s sweating because he’s scared.

This word is often used in expressions that describe situations in which a person is not actually sweating.

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. (Don’t worry about little things.)
  • Do you need some money? No sweat. Here’s ten dollars. (no sweat = no problem)
  • He completed all of his work without even breaking a sweat.
  • Jill sweated through seven years of college before she became a lawyer.

The word "sweat" is also used for clothing:

  • Ned wears a sweat suit when he works out.
  • College kids like to wear sweatshirts with the name of their college on the front of the shirt.
  • Sweat pants keep your legs warm and they’re very comfortable to wear around the house.
  • Sweaters are popular when it’s cold outside. A sweater can be worn for both formal and casual occasions.
  • A sweatband will keep sweat from dripping down onto your eyes.


She’s wearing a sweater.

teacher paul

I’m wearing a sweatshirt.

Click here to go to the Word of the Day page.

This page was first published on July 18, 2012. It was updated on March 20, 2015.