\ 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
2 : seepage

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 In that case, homeowners need to water in stages to soften up the ground so water can eventually seep down into the soil. Joe Lindsey, Popular Mechanics, 5 May 2022 The data may change hands several times or seep into a broader marketplace run by data brokers, which can amass huge collections. Washington Post, 4 May 2022 Current non-transparent, non-standardized employee background check processes leave many opportunities for bias to seep in and talented workers to be left out. Raj Ananthanpillai, Forbes, 14 Apr. 2022 When the oil is shimmering, pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, lifting the edges with a spatula to let the uncooked egg seep underneath. Lynne Sherwin, cleveland, 8 Apr. 2022 In contrast, neuromodulators are often released en masse at sites all over the cortex to seep through brain fluid and reach many more neurons. Quanta Magazine, 22 Mar. 2022 Stormwater pollution from melting snow can seep into groundwater and contaminated private drinking wells, Grumbles added. Lilly Price,, 28 Jan. 2022 In the past, the district’s delivery system, which serves both its farmers and the Gila River Indian Community, allowed about half the water that flowed from San Carlos Reservoir to seep away. Brandon Loomis, The Arizona Republic, 4 Jan. 2022 That pain and stiffness can seep into every area of your life, from your daily routine to your relationships and your mental health. SELF, 4 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Where the former keeps water out of the topmost layer of your jacket (causing it to bead rather than seep), the latter keeps water from getting through your jacket at its fastening points. Sara Coughlin, SELF, 24 Mar. 2022 That once dynamic seep ecosystem is still influencing the area long after the volcanoes sputtered out, the researchers concluded in a study published on Tuesday in Nature Communications. Jack Tamisiea, Scientific American, 8 Feb. 2022 The seep was only one in a series of recent setbacks, locals say. Los Angeles Times, 17 Mar. 2022 But slowly, and persuasively, bits of the paranormal and horror genre seep into the novel, and these elements become as much a part of the plot as the mystery. Sun Sentinel, 19 Apr. 2022 Situated in a depression surrounded by desert vistas and seep willows, the shallow, reedy waterhole is a haven for desert creatures. Mare Czinar, The Arizona Republic, 24 Dec. 2021 Secrets, fears and distrust seep through Gunthrum as Flanagan shows how these issues become a part of the daily fabric of the residents’ lives. Oline H. Cogdill,, 21 Dec. 2021 When uncertainty and instability seep into the culture during crisis and change, employees operate in survival mode — a state of rushed confusion and vulnerability to workplace stress. Loubna Noureddin, Forbes, 8 Nov. 2021 Through such holes in the storytelling, the play’s richest emotions seep. Jesse Green, New York Times, 17 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Seep.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for seep


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

Kids Definition of seep

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

More from Merriam-Webster on seep

Nglish: Translation of seep for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of seep for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about seep


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