1. Having an agreeable taste or flavour such as that of sugar; saccharine; opposed to sour and bitter; as, a sweet beverage; sweet fruits; sweet oranges.
2. Pleasing to the smell; fragrant; redolent; balmy; as, a sweet rose; sweet odour; sweet incense. "The breath of these flowers is sweet to me." (Longfellow)
3. Pleasing to the ear; soft; melodious; harmonious; as, the sweet notes of a flute or an organ; sweet music; a sweet voice; a sweet singer. "To make his English sweet upon his tongue." (Chaucer) "A voice sweet, tremulous, but powerful." (Hawthorne)
4. Pleasing to the eye; beautiful; mild and attractive; fair; as, a sweet face; a sweet colour or complexion. "Sweet interchange Of hill and valley, rivers, woods, and plains." (Milton)
5. Fresh; not salt or brackish; as, sweet water.
6. Not changed from a sound or wholesome state. Specifically: Not sour; as, sweet milk or bread. Not state; not putrescent or putrid; not rancid; as, sweet butter; sweet meat or fish.
7. Plaesing to the mind; mild; gentle; calm; amiable; winning; presuasive; as, sweet manners. "Canst thou bind the sweet influence of Pleiades?" (Job xxxviii. 31) "Mildness and sweet reasonableness is the one established rule of Christian working." (M. Arnold)
Sweet is often used in the formation of self-explaining compounds; as, sweet-blossomed, sweet-featured, sweet-smelling, sweet-tempered, sweet-toned, etc. Sweet alyssum.
<botany> Sweet gale. Sweet wine. See Dry wine, under Dry. To be sweet on, to have a particular fondness for, or special interest in, as a young man for a young woman.
Synonyms: Sugary, saccharine, dulcet, luscious.
Origin: OE. Swete, swote, sote, AS. Swete; akin to OFries. Swete, OS. Swoti, D. Zoet, G. Suss, OHG. Suozi, Icel. Saetr, soetr, Sw. Sot, Dan. Sod, Goth. Suts, L. Suavis, for suadvis, Gr, Skr. Svadu sweet, svad, svad, to sweeten. 175. Cf. Assuage, Suave, Suasion.
(01 Mar 1998)