Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


noun \ˈsəmp\

Simple Definition of sump

  • : a low part or area where liquid collects when it drains from something

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of sump

  1. 1 :  a pit or reservoir serving as a drain or receptacle for liquids: asa :  cesspoolb :  a pit at the lowest point in a circulating or drainage system (as the oil-circulating system of an internal combustion engine)c chiefly British :  oil pan

  2. 2 British :  crankcase

  3. 3 [German Sumpf, literally, marsh, from Middle High German — more at swamp] a :  the lowest part of a mine shaft into which water drainsb :  an excavation ahead of regular work in driving a mine tunnel or sinking a mine shaft

  4. 4 :  something resembling a sump :  sink 2

Origin and Etymology of sump

Middle English sompe swamp — more at swamp

First Known Use: 1653

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up sump? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).