\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from seep


seepy \ ˈsē-​pē How to pronounce seepy (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 Fog began seeping through the walls of Planet 13, the largest cannabis dispensary in the United States, and, most likely, the world. Christopher Muther,, "Las Vegas goes to pot," 28 Aug. 2019 Stringer and her husband were evacuated late Sunday afternoon after an eerie wall of white smoke began to seep onto her property. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "‘We gotta get out now’: Residents of subdivision in McKinley fire’s path recount last-minute evacuations," 20 Aug. 2019 Trump’s attacks have shifted in recent weeks from persistent complaints about Fed Chair Jerome H. Powell to more pointed directives, revealing a sense of economic anxiety that is beginning to seep into the West Wing. Washington Post, "Trump insists Fed cut rates sharply as he sounds pessimistic note on China talks," 9 Aug. 2019 If water begins to seep inside of a home, Zitzman said residents should get to the second floor. Mayra Cruz, Houston Chronicle, "Harris County officials stress safety, preparations during hurricane season," 14 June 2019 But the substitute — DCE, or dichloroethylene — caused problems later, when it was discovered seeping through the concrete floors of the factory. Bob Shaw, Twin Cities, "PCA hits White Bear Lake Township company with shut-down order," 23 Aug. 2019 Tennis style has a place off the court too, having seeped its way into mainstream style stalwarts like the Stan Smith tennis sneaker by Adidas and more exclusive, trend-setting fashion like Gucci’s tennis-heavy Pre-Fall 2019 collection. Anna Purna Kambhampaty, Time, "The Surprising—and Sometimes Troubling—History of Tennis Clothes," 5 Sep. 2019 Its shell is cracking, and a lurid yellow light gleams from within; a green gas seeps out. J.b., The Economist, "Forty years later, “Alien” remains at the apex of sci-fi horror films," 5 Sep. 2019 A few of the popular sayings within the Gophers’ program have already seeped into Mann’s vocabulary. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "High school football: Gophers commit Jonathan Mann is Rosemount’s star receiver, and ideal leader," 28 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The seep, which has been flowing off and on since May, has again stopped, said Chevron spokeswoman Veronica Flores-Paniagua. Washington Post, "Chevron spills 800,000 gallons of oil, water in California," 12 July 2019 An ancient tar seep in the middle of modern-day Los Angeles, the La Brea Tar Pits trapped all sorts of animals over the past 50,000 years. Stephanie De Marco, Los Angeles Times, "Bones pulled from the La Brea Tar Pits show the perils of being a picky eater," 26 Aug. 2019 The idea here was to do something like locate a shipwreck or a natural methane seep. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "XPRIZE selects winners of autonomous seafloor-mapping competition," 1 June 2019 How rainfall and groundwater seep in can also build up pressure and lead to cracks and collapses. Rosanna Xiastaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "A cliff collapse. Three deaths. More bluff failures expected with rising seas," 9 Aug. 2019 The springs range in flow from steady trickles that drain into green seeps to icy founts that gush from solid rock, carving gullies and fostering thick forests. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "Forest hike near Payson leads to a shady tangle of springs," 26 July 2019 The seep occurred in an oil field where Chevron uses a process called steam injection to extract underground crude oil. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, "A major Kern County oil spill in environmentally conscious California," 17 July 2019 The seep out of the ground where Chevron injects steam to extract oil has been happening on and off since May. The state has issued Chevron a notice of violation ordering it to stop steam injections around the area where the seep was occurring. USA TODAY, "Penal farm to produce farm, music under the sea: News from around our 50 states," 16 July 2019 What little remains of the life-giving liquid trickles from salty seasonal seeps, languishes in pockets as underground lakes, or sits frozen in sheets of ice. National Geographic, "Rivers may have flowed on Mars for longer than anyone realized," 27 Mar. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about seep

Statistics for seep

Last Updated

5 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for seep

The first known use of seep was in 1790

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on seep

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for seep

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with seep

Spanish Central: Translation of seep

Nglish: Translation of seep for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on seep

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


an agreement to stop fighting a war

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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