\ ˈsēp How to pronounce seep (audio) \
seeped; seeping; seeps

Definition of seep

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to flow or pass slowly through fine pores or small openings : ooze water seeped in through a crack
2a : to enter or penetrate slowly fear of nuclear war had seeped into the national consciousness— Tip O'Neill
b : to become diffused or spread a sadness seeped through his being— Agnes S. Turnbull



Definition of seep (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a spot where a fluid (such as water, oil, or gas) contained in the ground oozes slowly to the surface and often forms a pool
b : a small spring

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Other Words from seep


seepy \ ˈsē-​pē How to pronounce seep (audio) \ adjective

Examples of seep in a Sentence

Verb Blood was seeping through the bandage. The chemicals seeped into the ground.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Anonymous quotes will continue to seep out of the locker room by players questioning the coaching staff’s competence to diffuse criticism of their own culpability. David Moore, Dallas News, "Over the next two weeks, Mike McCarthy’s credibility, Cowboys' competitive viability are at stake," 21 Oct. 2020 However, if the tape isn’t properly positioned, wet paint can seep under it and soak into the carpet. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Paint 4 Tricky Places in Your Home Like a Pro," 21 Dec. 2020 Now, emerging research confirms that schools aren’t the primary drivers of outbreaks, but cases will seep in and contribute to the disease’s spread whenever a country loses control of containing the pandemic. Lois Parshley, Science, "Exclusive: Kids catch and spread coronavirus half as much as adults, Iceland study confirms," 10 Dec. 2020 Trump’s impeachment as coronavirus was beginning to seep into the nation. Morgan Phillips, Fox News, "Melania Trump tears directly into Joe Biden as a 'socialist'," 27 Oct. 2020 This year, an almost aimless sense of calm and quiet will seep not-so-softly through December. Rachel Levin,, "COVID may ruin Christmas, but it can’t cancel Hanukkah," 9 Dec. 2020 Wastewater stored in unlined ponds can seep into the soil and contaminate the groundwater, potentially making its way to other water bodies or wells, said Lisa Evans, an EarthJustice attorney. Halle Parker | Staff Writer,, "A Louisiana utility hopes to get more time to close its 4 coal ash ponds under a new rollback," 4 Dec. 2020 The culture of Harbaugh’s organization that has allowed complacency to seep in and unwarranted arrogance to mushroom is now under the microscope. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Jim Harbaugh understands there is no quick fix for Michigan football. Urban Meyer could have told him," 15 Nov. 2020 When pressure falls below 20 pounds per square inch, contaminants can seep into underground pipes. Drew Broach,, "Little Woods advised to avoid tap water after vehicle strikes fire hydrant," 14 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The submarine’s pilot and two marine scientists had just returned from collecting samples around a methane seep, an oasis for carbon-munching microbes and the larger species of bottom dwellers that feed on them. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, "The Oldest Crewed Deep Sea Submarine Just Got a Big Makeover," 21 Dec. 2020 Use a damp cloth to clean off dust and grime, being careful not to let any liquid seep inside. Brigitt Earley, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Should Clean At Home After Someone Has Been Sick," 11 Dec. 2020 Germination is what happens when water and oxygen seep into the seed. Jamie Kiffel-alcheh, National Geographic, "Science experiments that will feed your kids’ brains," 23 Nov. 2020 Simply use a damp cloth to clean off any dust and grime, being careful not to let any liquid seep behind the switch. Brigitt Earley, Good Housekeeping, "7 Unexpected Places Germs Congregate," 10 Nov. 2020 What qualifies as such a seep is left up to the oil and gas supervisor. ProPublica, "Oil Companies Are Profiting From Illegal Spills. And California Lets Them.," 18 Sep. 2020 Interactions on social media seep offline into our real lives, and the results are toxic. Thomas Chatterton Williams, Harper's Magazine, "A Game of Chance," 15 Sep. 2020 In downtown Galveston, water was slowly beginning to seep from storm drains, according to reports from the Galveston County Daily News. Dallas News, "Live updates: Hurricane Laura approaches Texas-Louisiana coastline," 27 Aug. 2020 Sometimes, females would arrive at a male’s seep and try to eat the eggs that other females had laid in the spot. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "This Frog Mates With Two Females in an Unusual Love Triangle," 15 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'seep.' 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 seep


1790, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1824, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for seep


alteration of earlier sipe, from Middle English sipen, from Old English sipian; akin to Middle Low German sipen to seep

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Statistics for seep

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Seep.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for seep


How to pronounce seep (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of seep

: to flow or pass slowly through small openings in something


\ ˈsēp How to pronounce seep (audio) \
seeped; seeping

Kids Definition of seep

: to flow slowly through small openings Water seeped into the basement.

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