Sweet a. [Compar. Sweeter superl. Sweetest.]
1. Having an agreeable taste or flavor 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 odor; 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 color or complexion.
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: (a) Not sour; as, sweet milk or bread. (b) 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.
Note: ☞ 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. Bot. See Alyssum.
Sweet apple. Bot. (a) Any apple of sweet flavor. (b) See Sweet-sop.
Sweet bay. Bot. (a) The laurel (Laurus nobilis). (b) Swamp sassafras.
Sweet calabash Bot., a plant of the genus Passiflora (Passiflora maliformis) growing in the West Indies, and producing a roundish, edible fruit, the size of an apple.
Sweet cicely. Bot. (a) Either of the North American plants of the umbelliferous genus Osmorrhiza having aromatic roots and seeds, and white flowers. --Gray. (b) A plant of the genus Myrrhis (Myrrhis odorata) growing in England.
Sweet calamus, or Sweet cane. Bot. Same as Sweet flag, below.
Sweet Cistus Bot., an evergreen shrub (Cistus Ladanum) from which the gum ladanum is obtained.
Sweet clover. Bot. See Melilot.
Sweet coltsfoot Bot., a kind of butterbur (Petasites sagittata) found in Western North America.
Sweet corn Bot., a variety of the maize of a sweet taste. See the Note under Corn.
Sweet fern Bot., a small North American shrub (Comptonia asplenifolia syn. Myrica asplenifolia) having sweet-scented or aromatic leaves resembling fern leaves.
Sweet flag Bot., an endogenous plant (Acorus Calamus) having long flaglike leaves and a rootstock of a pungent aromatic taste. It is found in wet places in Europe and America. See Calamus, 2.
Sweet gale Bot., a shrub (Myrica Gale) having bitter fragrant leaves; -- also called sweet willow, and Dutch myrtle. See 5th Gale.
Sweet grass Bot., holy, or Seneca, grass.
Sweet gum Bot., an American tree (Liquidambar styraciflua). See Liquidambar.
Sweet herbs, fragrant herbs cultivated for culinary purposes.
Sweet John Bot., a variety of the sweet William.
Sweet leaf Bot., horse sugar. See under Horse.
Sweet marjoram. Bot. See Marjoram.
Sweet marten Zool., the pine marten.
Sweet maudlin Bot., a composite plant (Achillea Ageratum) allied to milfoil.
Sweet oil, olive oil.
Sweet pea. Bot. See under Pea.
Sweet potato. Bot. See under Potato.
Sweet rush Bot., sweet flag.
Sweet spirits of niter Med. Chem. See Spirit of nitrous ether, under Spirit.
Sweet sultan Bot., an annual composite plant (Centaurea moschata), also, the yellow-flowered (Centaurea odorata); -- called also sultan flower.
Sweet tooth, an especial fondness for sweet things or for sweetmeats. [Colloq.]
Sweet William. (a) Bot. A species of pink (Dianthus barbatus) of many varieties. (b) Zool. The willow warbler. (c) Zool. The European goldfinch; -- called also sweet Billy. [Prov. Eng.]
Sweet willow Bot., 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. [Colloq.] --Thackeray.
Syn: -- Sugary; saccharine; dulcet; luscious.