cess·​pool | \ ˈses-ˌpül How to pronounce cesspool (audio) \

Definition of cesspool

1 : an underground reservoir for liquid waste (such as household sewage)
2 : a filthy, evil, or corrupt place or state a cesspool of corruption

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for cesspool


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 And White’s done it without the FBI wire-tapping his phone and without a hint of the cheating and chicanery that pervades the cesspool of college basketball. Mike Bianchi, orlandosentinel.com, "Gator Twitter idiots need to get off Mike White’s back | Commentary," 3 Apr. 2021 The long-running series, in which pretty people get to play out their fantasies, made local news this season, thanks to runner-up Michelle Young, a Twin Cities teacher who seemed far too sensible to get lured into this cesspool. Neal Justin, Star Tribune, "How 'The Bachelor' blew an opportunity to educate host Chris Harrison," 18 Mar. 2021 The Babcock family had been targeted by a super-spreader, dragged into an internet cesspool where people’s reputations are held for ransom. New York Times, "A Vast Web of Vengeance," 30 Jan. 2021 The UN Human Rights Council is a cesspool of political bias that makes a mockery of human rights. Carly Roman, Washington Examiner, "Nikki Haley slams Biden plan to rejoin UN Human Rights Council," 25 Jan. 2021 Previous to this year, when CES was moved online because of an increasingly deadly pandemic, the tentpole event for the consumer technology industry was notorious for being a cesspool of germs. Boone Ashworth, Wired, "It's a Big Year for ‘Clean Tech’ at CES," 12 Jan. 2021 Our once relatively united and largely ethical society has plummeted into a cesspool of deception and greed. Mike Masterson, Arkansas Online, "OPINION | MASTERSON ONLINE: Credibility vital," 27 Dec. 2020 The suit is a cesspool of disproved charges, wild speculation, insupportable arguments and silly gibberish. TheWeek, "17 red states join Texas' lawsuit to throw out blue states' ballots — even though some had the same voting rules," 9 Dec. 2020 To the rest of the nation, the city of skyscrapers and soaring hopes seemed a cesspool of urban decay. Robert D. Mcfadden, New York Times, "David N. Dinkins, New York’s First Black Mayor, Dies at 93," 24 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cesspool.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of cesspool

1782, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cesspool

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cesspool

Time Traveler for cesspool

Time Traveler

The first known use of cesspool was in 1782

See more words from the same year

Statistics for cesspool

Last Updated

17 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cesspool.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cesspool. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cesspool



English Language Learners Definition of cesspool

: an underground hole or container for holding liquid waste (such as sewage) from a building
: a place or situation that is very dirty, evil, or corrupt

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on cesspool

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


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!