cess·​pool ˈses-ˌpül How to pronounce cesspool (audio)
: an underground reservoir for liquid waste (such as household sewage)
: a filthy, evil, or corrupt place or state
a cesspool of corruption

Examples of cesspool in a Sentence

The region had become a cesspool of pollution. over the decades the once-respectable neighborhood had become an urban cesspool
Recent Examples on the Web The next year, the state passed a law requiring that all cesspools be converted and closed by the year 2050. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 21 July 2023 In the lead-up to the court filings, bogus Epstein content cluttered X/Twitter, now a cesspool of right-wing fake news thanks to Elon Musk. Miles Klee, Rolling Stone, 4 Jan. 2024 And Elon Musk has turned X, formerly known as Twitter, into a cesspool of hate speech and extremist incitement. Nbc Universal, NBC News, 19 Nov. 2023 When the exodus is complete, and all that’s left is a cesspool of right-wing bigotry and tech-industry idolatry, will Musk finally feel satisfied with what he’s created? Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, 21 Nov. 2023 In 2016, the state of Hawaii banned the construction of new cesspools. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 21 July 2023 The early aughts seemed like a cesspool of dating games, emotional and mental manipulation, and glorifying the battle of the sexes, rooted in misogyny. Dominique Fluker, Essence, 25 Sep. 2023 The ocean could also inundate property cesspools, a situation that could bring about another sort of environmental damage. Stephanie Hanes, The Christian Science Monitor, 1 Aug. 2023 YouTube isn't the only platform fighting this problem—TikTok's mental health advice videos are a cesspool of misinformation. Matthew Humphries, PCMAG, 15 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cesspool.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


perhaps by folk etymology from Middle English suspiral vent, tap on a main pipe, settling pool, from Anglo-French suspirale vent, from suspirer to sigh, exhale, from Latin suspirare, literally, to draw a long breath — more at suspire

First Known Use

1783, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cesspool was in 1783

Dictionary Entries Near cesspool

Cite this Entry

“Cesspool.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cesspool. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


cess·​pool ˈses-ˌpül How to pronounce cesspool (audio)
: an underground pit or tank for liquid waste (as household sewage)

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