cess·​pool | \-ˌpül \

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

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Synonyms for cesspool


Augean stable

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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

From that cesspool of decadence and depravity at Churchill Downs the genre of Gonzo journalism was born and the fastest two minutes in sports started a friendship that lasted a lifetime between the writer and the artist. The Courier-Journal, "Ralph Steadman Recalls 1970 Derby Adventure," 3 May 2018 But the 50-square-mile lake, considered Florida’s fourth-largest, devolved from a fishing paradise to a toxic cesspool during a half-century of environmental abuse beginning in the 1940s with chemical runoff from vegetable farms. Stephen Hudak, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Winter Garden buys lakefront properties, envisions 'nicest park on Lake Apopka'," 8 June 2018 The island is being shut for up to six months while sewage containment and other work is done to clean up waters the president called a cesspool. Joeal Calupitan, Fox News, "Workers head home, look for other jobs as Boracay closes," 26 Apr. 2018 Sewage piled up in pits and cesspools and poured into the city’s harbor and rivers. Courtney Humphries, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston vs. the rising tide," 28 Apr. 2018 The Second Bank of the United States became a cesspool of corruption. Jay Cost, WSJ, "The Founding Era’s Populist Moment," 8 June 2018 USA TODAY Sports Michigan State is a cesspool with seemingly no bottom. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Michigan State is a cesspool of abuse and indifference appears bottomless," 24 Apr. 2018 Oil was no longer just the lubricant easing a bite of steak down your gullet, nor merely a boiling cesspool from which French fries and doughnuts emerged. Ted Trautman, San Francisco Chronicle, "California’s olive oil craze: rooted in the far north counties," 7 June 2018 Critics say the freewheeling community forums website is a cesspool of hate speech and pornography, where anonymous trolls can make incendiary comments without facing consequences. New York Times, "Alexis Ohanian Talks Reddit, Serena Williams and Metallica," 4 Apr. 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for cesspool

Last Updated

1 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for cesspool

The first known use of cesspool was in 1782

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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

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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).


obstinately defiant of authority

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