sink·​hole | \ ˈsiŋk-ˌhōl How to pronounce sinkhole (audio) \

Definition of sinkhole

1 : a hollow place or depression in which drainage collects
2 : a hollow in a limestone region that communicates with a cavern or passage
4 : something (such as an unprofitable investment) that steadily drains money or resources a financial sinkhole

Examples of sinkhole in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In recent years, politicians on both sides of the aisle have joined criminal-justice reformers in recognizing mass incarceration as both a moral outrage and a fiscal sinkhole. Ava Kofman, ProPublica, "Digital Jail: How Electronic Monitoring Drives Defendants Into Debt," 3 July 2019 Thunderstorms rumbled along the Front Range Monday unleashing hard rain in some areas including Sheridan, where a sinkhole formed and where at least one car was sunk below an elevated railroad crossing. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, "Downpour in Sheridan opens up sinkhole, floods Oxford Avenue at Santa Fe," 1 July 2019 At a school district in the tiny town of Ajo, a playground was shut down for more than a year because of sinkholes. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "Arizona has inspected only 1 school for building deficiencies in 3 years," 24 June 2019 But any one of the crises coming down the pipeline could set off a separatist reaction: water shortage in the West, nuclear meltdowns in the East, a flood in the Mississippi Valley, sinkholes from fracking in Oklahoma. Tom Shippey, WSJ, "Science Fiction: Formerly Known as the United States," 21 June 2019 Part of Minnesota Highway 244 in Mahtomedi will be closed next week as crews work to repair a sinkhole caused by a drainage pipe that failed. Mary Divine, Twin Cities, "Sinkhole in Mahtomedi leads to road closure and $197,000 repair," 14 June 2019 Thermokast is a term for a type of land surface that occurs when ice melts in permafrost, creating small sinkhole-like pits and valleys as the ground settles unevenly. Julia Hollingsworth, CNN, "Hot summers causing arctic sinkholes as permafrost thaws rapidly: study," 11 June 2019 For the ancient Maya, these natural, freshwater sinkholes had deep spiritual significance. National Geographic, "Visit these breathtaking underwater caves in the Yucatán Peninsula," 31 May 2019 That facility suffered its own disaster when a sinkhole swallowed eight cars in 2014. Ben Finley, The Seattle Times, "Gas explosion also damaged world-famous Porsche collection," 12 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sinkhole.' 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 sinkhole

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for sinkhole

The first known use of sinkhole was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of sinkhole

: a low area or hole in the ground that is formed especially when soil and rocks are removed by flowing water

More from Merriam-Webster on sinkhole

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sinkhole Encyclopedia article about sinkhole

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