\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from seep


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

Examples of seep in a Sentence


Blood was seeping through the bandage. The chemicals seeped into the ground.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

White supremacy also has seeped into local debates as the city has sought to transform the Alamo site in recent years. Brian Chasnoff,, "‘A Perfect Storm’ — online hate and political winds whip up white supremacy," 10 Aug. 2019 All but California’s and Utah’s outbreaks are ongoing, and experts expect to eventually see the virus seep into every state. Laura Ungar, USA TODAY, "Hepatitis A is breaking out across the country in wake of opioid crisis," 10 Aug. 2019 While apparel and school supplies remain perennial staples of back-to-school shopping, families are increasingly buying computers, cell phones and tablets as technology seeps into children's classroom and social life. Paul Takahashi, Houston Chronicle, "Back-to-school costs add up for Houston families," 6 Aug. 2019 There is also defensive game theory seeping its way into the NFL that will inevitably slow down the rise of these young quarterbacks. Conor Orr,, "OK, OK, But How Much Would Tom Brady Get From a New Team in Free Agency?," 6 Aug. 2019 The universe did a cruel number on owner Roger Gural by seeping rheumatoid arthritis into his joints, making the physical labor of baking bread an act of pain. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, "What My Dream Grocery Store Looks Like," 3 Aug. 2019 As predicted, the influences of Washington, D.C., that red-hot center of religious extremism, are slowly seeping into the outer cities. Elena Nicolaou,, "The Handmaid's Tale," 25 July 2019 After seeping into an underground cistern, millions of gallons of water a month was pumped into the city’s sewer system. Dominic Fracassa,, "Massive SF recycling project to save 30 million gallons of drinking water per year," 23 July 2019 The chemicals have been seeping into the Amazon River, which then dumps them into the Atlantic. NBC News, "Scientists discover the world's biggest seaweed patch. They say it could be the 'new normal.'," 9 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The precious presence of water is a fickle one, requiring a micro-filtration device to eek out ounces rather than gallons from seeps and springs often frequented by wildlife. Peter Reese, Popular Mechanics, "4 Reasons Why You Need To Hike the Sonoran Desert," 2 May 2018 Protections also were added for methane seeps, undersea areas where the gas leaking out of the ocean bottom helps sustain sea life. Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times, "Conservationists, West Coast bottom fishermen embrace ‘grand bargain’," 16 Apr. 2018 Duke also agrees to pay an $84,000 fine for leaking polluted water from the ponds into the Catawba and Broad rivers. Draining the ponds is expected to eliminate or reduce those leaks, which are called seeps. Bruce Henderson And Deon Roberts, charlotteobserver, "Want to help speed up coal ash cleanup near Charlotte? Here’s how.," 9 Jan. 2018 Okoronkwo let his frustration with football seep into his schoolwork. Bruce Feldman,, "The Unlikely Rise of Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Oklahoma's Defensive MVP," 27 Dec. 2017

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

Dictionary Entries near seep

see oneself out

see out

see over





Statistics for seep

Last Updated

13 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

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



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with seep

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


a period when something is suspended

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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!