\ 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 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 Both experts extol the virtues of moisturizers with exfoliants like urea (not urine, but a similar compound that has been shown to help moisture seep into skin), and salicylic acid, to help prevent heel cracks with regular use. NBC News, "How to care for dry, cracked heels, according to dermatologists," 14 Nov. 2019 Decades of high nuclear gamesmanship then left the reach with 53 million gallons of radioactive waste, which, over time, seeped out of the storage tanks at the facility and contaminated 100 square miles of groundwater. Patrick Symmes, Harper's magazine, "The $68,000 Fish," 28 Oct. 2019 Naturally when an athlete misses an extended period of time rust seeps in. Tyler Dragon,, "Cincinnati Bengals activate cornerback Darqueze Dennard off PUP list," 17 Oct. 2019 Lightness has seeped into Featherweight’s sound, too. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, "Akron metalcore band Featherweight debuts ‘Sleep Well’ EP," 16 Oct. 2019 Trans people, like four congresswomen, like the undocumented immigrants living in our communities, and like all of the Black and brown people impacted by the racist rhetoric seeping out of Sweet Potato Saddam, are human beings. Michael Arceneaux, Essence, "Opinion: It Doesn’t Matter If Trump’s Outbursts Are A ‘Distraction’ When His Targets Are Placed In Danger," 26 July 2019 The rumors have seeped through since Trump got into office: in the wake of the controversial Muslim ban, tales of Nigerian travelers being questioned at American points of entry also made the rounds. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "Trump’s clampdown on US visas for Nigerians is cultivating fear—and “fake news”," 17 July 2019 This kindness seeps into other characters who are usually thought of as ugly from the inside out. Anne Gelhaus, The Mercury News, "The message is the magic in Foothill’s ‘Cinderella’," 14 July 2019 Condensation from the metal formwork and upholstery staples seeped into the foam of the padded walls. Mark Lamster, Dallas News, "The epic tale of the House of the Century, the trippy Texas icon that defies polite description," 12 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The state previously issued the oil giant a notice of violation ordering it to stop steam injections around the area where the seep was occurring. San Diego Union-Tribune, "California fines Chevron over Kern County oil leaks," 2 Oct. 2019 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

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

19 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Seep.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

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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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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

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not agreeing with established beliefs

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