I. adjective Etymology: Middle English swete, from Old English swēte; akin to Old High German suozi sweet, Latin suadēre to urge, suavis sweet, Greek hēdys Date: before 12th century 1. a. (1) pleasing to the taste (2) being or inducing the one of the four basic taste sensations that is typically induced by disaccharides and is mediated especially by receptors in taste buds at the front of the tongue — compare bitter, salt, sour b. (1) of a beverage containing a sweetening ingredient ; not dry (2) of wine retaining a portion of natural sugar 2. a. pleasing to the mind or feelings ; agreeable, gratifying — often used as a generalized term of approval <
how sweet it is
b. marked by gentle good humor or kindliness <
a sweet disposition
c. fragrant <
a sweet aroma
d. (1) delicately pleasing to the ear or eye <
a sweet melody
(2) played in a straightforward melodic style <
sweet jazz
e. saccharine, cloying f. very good or appealing <
a sweet job offer
a sweet sports car
3. much loved ; dear 4. a. not sour, rancid, decaying, or stale ; wholesome <
sweet milk
b. not salt or salted ; fresh <
sweet water
sweet butter
c. free from excessive acidity — used especially of soil d. free from noxious gases and odors e. free from excess of acid, sulfur, or corrosive salts <
sweet crude oil
5. skillful, proficient <
a sweet golf swing
6. — used as an intensive <
take your own sweet time
sweetly adverbsweetness noun II. adverb Date: 13th century in a sweet manner III. noun Date: 14th century 1. something that is sweet to the taste: as a. a food (as a candy or preserve) having a high sugar content <
fill up on sweets
b. British dessert c. British hard candy 2. a sweet taste sensation 3. a pleasant or gratifying experience, possession, or state 4. darling, sweetheart 5. a. archaic fragrance b. plural, archaic things having a sweet smell

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


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