\ 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

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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 The atmosphere surrounding the larger planet acts as a filter, scattering blue light but allowing red light to seep through. Miriam Fauzia, USA TODAY, 26 May 2021 That's because, per the FDA, itching any blisters caused by a poison ivy rash can create an opening for bacteria from your fingernails to seep into your skin, causing further infection. Maggie O'neill,, 14 May 2021 And so in Britain that term started to seep into academic circles and then into the public. Time, 21 Apr. 2021 Forty years after the renowned physicist Richard Feynman floated the idea for a quantum computer, the technology is starting to seep out of academic labs and into the real world. Washington Post, 7 Apr. 2021 The pain of the pandemic still has managed to seep through the victory of finding a job. Ellen Hine, The Enquirer, 1 Apr. 2021 These salt deposits seep into the cave walls, then proceed to expand and contract as temperatures rise and fall. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, 14 May 2021 Often ideas seep into the collective conscious of jewelers, which is how trends are born. Beth Bernstein, Forbes, 11 May 2021 If the unit is unregulated, as many are in poorer nations where the sales of cars and car batteries are surging, toxic fumes often escape into the air and effluents seep into groundwater. The Christian Science Monitor, 20 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In a remediation plan filed with ADEM, Warrior Met Coal blamed a seep at the sediment waste pond for the pollution that entered the creek. Dennis Pillion |, al, 12 May 2021 Then Pearl let the quiet of her house seep into her and pour into and fortify the most precious quiet at the very center of her. Lauren Groff, The New Yorker, 27 Apr. 2021 After surveying the spring and recording his observations on a tablet, Rosso walked uphill to another water source, a seep that formed a muddy puddle among bushes and deer grass. azcentral, 15 Apr. 2021 Modine, it should be said, manages to give you Singer’s constant forward momentum, and the sense of a man who never stops working or moving long enough to let a sense of morality seep into his thought process. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 17 Mar. 2021 As the rest of the nation finally gets a small respite from this week’s deadly Arctic blast, Florida can expect to see a tiny amount of that cool air seep into the region. Chris Perkins,, 19 Feb. 2021 Now, struggling to envision a future after months of restrictions, Ms. Lachaux says that loneliness and despair seep in at night. New York Times, 14 Feb. 2021 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, 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, 11 Dec. 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

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Seep.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for seep



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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