AskDefine | Define sweat

Dictionary Definition



1 salty fluid secreted by sweat glands; "sweat poured off his brow" [syn: perspiration, sudor]
2 agitation resulting from active worry; "don't get in a stew"; "he's in a sweat about exams" [syn: fret, stew, lather, swither]
3 condensation of moisture on a cold surface; "the cold glasses were streaked with sweat"
4 use of physical or mental energy; hard work; "he got an A for effort"; "they managed only with great exertion" [syn: effort, elbow grease, exertion, travail] v : excrete perspiration through the pores in the skin; "Exercise makes one sweat" [syn: sudate, perspire]

User Contributed Dictionary


see sweats


  • /swɛt/
  • /swEt/
  • Rhymes with: -ɛt


  1. Fluid that exits the body through pores in the skin usually due to physical stress and/or high temperature for the purpose of regulating body temperature and removing certain compounds from the circulation.


fluid that exits the body through pores


  1. To emit sweat.
  2. intransitive informal To work hard.
  3. intransitive informal To worry.
  4. transitive idiom To worry about something or someone; to like or adore, or to do anything that implies sweating;
    She's so hot, I definitely sweat her.
    Don't sweat it!
  5. To emit, in the manner of sweat.
    to sweat blood.
  6. intransitive plumbing To solder (a pipe joint) together.


Derived terms


emit sweat
informal: work hard
informal: worry
emit in the manner of sweat
solder together



From sweatshirt.



fr-noun m
  1. sweatshirt
    Les sweats à capuche sont interdits dans certaines lieux publics en Grande-Bretagne.
    Hoodies are prohibited in some places in Great Britain.

Extensive Definition

Perspiration (also called sweating or sometimes transpiration) is the production and evaporation of a fluid, consisting primarily of water as well as a smaller amount of sodium chloride (the main constituent of "table salt"), that is excreted by the sweat glands in the skin of mammals. Sweat also contains the chemicals or odorants 2-methylphenol (o-cresol) and 4-methylphenol (p-cresol).
In humans, sweating is primarily a means of thermoregulation, although it has been proposed that components of male sweat can act as pheromonal cues . Evaporation of sweat from the skin surface has a cooling effect due to the latent heat of evaporation of water. Hence, in hot weather, or when the individual's muscles heat up due to exertion, more sweat is produced. Sweating is increased by nervousness and nausea and decreased by cold. Animals with few sweat glands, such as dogs, accomplish similar temperature regulation results by panting, which evaporates water from the moist lining of the oral cavity and pharynx. Primates and horses have armpits that sweat similarly to those of humans.


Sweating is controlled from a center in the preoptic & anterior regions of the hypothalamus where thermosensitive neurones are located. The heat regulatory function of the hypothalamus is also affected by inputs from temperature receptors in the skin. High skin temperature reduces the hypothalamic set point for sweating and increases the gain of the hypothalamic feedback system in response to variations in core temperature. Overall though, the sweating response to a rise in hypothalamic temperature (‘core temp’) is much larger than the response to the same increase in average skin temperature.
Sweat is not pure water; it always contains a small amount (0.2 - 1%) of solute . When a person moves from a cold climate to a hot climate, adaptive changes occur in their sweating mechanism. These are referred to as acclimatisation: the maximum rate of sweating increases and its solute composition decreases. The daily water loss in sweat is very variable: from 100 to 8,000 mls/day. The solute loss can be as much as 350 mmols/day (or 90 mmols/day acclimatised) of sodium under the most extreme conditions. In a cool climate & in the absence of exercise, sodium loss can be very low (less than 5 mmols/day). [Na+] in sweat is 30-65 mmol/l depending on degree of acclimatisation.


Sweat contains mainly water. It also contains minerals, as well as lactate and urea. Mineral composition will vary with the individual, the acclimatisation to heat, exercise and sweating, the particular stress source (exercise, sauna, etc.), the duration of sweating, and the composition of minerals in the body. An indication of the minerals content is is: sodium 0.9 gram/liter, potassium 0.2 gram/liter, calcium 0.015 gram/liter, magnesium 0.0013 gram/liter. Also many other trace elements are excreted in sweat, again an indication of their concentration is (although measurements can vary fifteenfold): zinc (0.4 mg/l), copper (0.3 - 0.8 mg/l), iron (1 mg/l), chromium (0.1 mg/l), nickel (0.05 mg/l), lead (0.05 mg/l). . Probably many other less abundant trace minerals will leave the body through sweating with correspondingly lower concentrations. In humans sweat is hyposmotic relatively to the plasma .


External links

Further reading

  • Ferner S, Koszmagk R, Lehmann A, Heilmann W., Z Erkr Atmungsorgane. 1990;175(2):70-5. 'Reference values of Na(+) and Cl(-) concentrations in adult sweat'
  • E. R. Nadel, R. W. Bullard, and J. A. Stolwijk, "Importance of skin temperature in the regulation of sweating", Journal of Applied Physiology, Vol. 31, Issue 1, 80-87, July 1, 1971
sweat in Arabic: تعرق
sweat in Aymara: Jump'i
sweat in Azerbaijani: Tər
sweat in Danish: Sved
sweat in German: Schwitzen
sweat in Modern Greek (1453-): Ιδρώτας
sweat in Spanish: Sudor
sweat in Esperanto: Ŝvito
sweat in French: Sueur
sweat in Indonesian: Keringat
sweat in Icelandic: Sviti
sweat in Italian: Sudorazione
sweat in Hebrew: זיעה
sweat in Latin: Sudor
sweat in Lithuanian: Prakaitavimas
sweat in Dutch: Zweten
sweat in Japanese: 汗
sweat in Polish: Pot
sweat in Portuguese: Suor
sweat in Simple English: Sweat
sweat in Finnish: Hiki
sweat in Swedish: Svettning
sweat in Tamil: வியர்வை
sweat in Turkish: Ter
sweat in Yiddish: שוויצן
sweat in Chinese: 汗液

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

BO, abide, ado, agitation, agonize, aim, all-overs, anguish, anxiety, await, bake, be determined, be in heat, beaded brow, beads of sweat, befuddlement, bewilderment, bide, blaze, bleed, bloom, body odor, boil, bother, botheration, breathless impatience, broil, burden, burn, burn to, burst, bustle, busy, chafe, chafing, chaos, chills of fear, choke, chyle, cloud, cold creeps, cold shivers, cold sweat, colostrum, combust, commotion, condense, confusion, cook, creeps, daze, diaphoresis, dirty work, discharge, discombobulation, discomfiture, discomposure, disconcertion, disorder, disorganization, disorientation, disquiet, disquietude, distill, disturbance, dither, dithers, do double duty, donkeywork, dribble, drip, dripple, drive, drop, drudge, drudgery, eagerness, elucubrate, embarrassment, employment, endeavor, excitement, exudate, exudation, exude, fag, fatigue, fear and trembling, feery-fary, ferment, fidgetiness, fighter, fighting man, filter, fit, flame, flame up, flap, flare, flare up, flicker, flummox, flurry, flush, fluster, flutter, flutteriness, fog, frenzy, fret, fretfulness, fretting, fry, fuddle, fuddlement, fume, fuss, fussiness, gasp, get excited, gleet, glow, goose bumps, gooseflesh, grind, gurgle, handiwork, handwork, hard work, hardly wait, haste, hasten, haze, heartquake, heebie-jeebies, hit the ball, honest sweat, horripilation, hubbub, hullabaloo, humor, hustle, ichor, impatience, impatientness, impetuousness, incandesce, industry, inquietude, itch to, jimjams, jitters, jumble, jump the gun, jumps, keep busy, labor, laboriousness, lachryma, lactation, lather, leach, leukorrhea, lick, lick of work, lixiviate, lucubrate, lymph, maelstrom, man-at-arms, manual labor, mark time, matter, maze, mess, milk, mist, moil, mucor, mucus, muddle, muddlement, mulct, nervousness, ooze, oppress, overdrive, overtask, overtax, overwork, palpitation, pant, parch, peccant humor, percolate, perplexity, perspiration, perspiration odor, perspire, perturbation, phlegm, pother, pour it on, pucker, purulence, pus, quaking, quiver of terror, quivers, radiate heat, rat race, resolve, restiveness, restlessness, rheum, roast, rook, ruffle, saliva, sanies, scald, scorch, scramble, scratch, scut work, seek, seep, seethe, serous fluid, serum, serviceman, sew, shakes, shimmer with heat, shivers, shuffle, simmer, sit up for, slave, slavery, slog, slogging, smolder, smother, snot, spadework, spark, spasm, spurt, spurtle, squirm, stay up for, steam, stew, stick, stifle, stir, strain, streams of sweat, strive, stroke, stroke of work, struggle, study, sudor, sudoresis, suffocate, suppuration, swaddy, swat, swatting, sweat and stew, sweat blood, sweat it out, sweat out, sweating, swelter, swirl, swivet, swot, swotting, task, tax, tear, teardrop, tense readiness, the whites, thrill of fear, tiresome work, tizzy, to-do, toast, toil, transude, travail, treadmill, trembles, trepidation, trepidity, trickle, tumult, uneasiness, unpatientness, unquiet, unquietness, unsettlement, upset, urine, vortex, wait, wait for, wait impatiently, wait on, wait up for, warrior, watch, watch and wait, water, weep, whirl, willies, wilt, work, work hard, work late, work overtime, worry
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