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 The shoreline continues to erode at the site of a November dock collapse on the Detroit River: Aggregate and contaminated soil are still entering the river and now a sinkhole has developed. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "EGLE: Companies' response to Detroit River dock collapse 'inadequate'," 17 Jan. 2020 Government officials estimated that the sinkhole covers an area of about 80 square meters (860 square feet). Nectar Gan, CNN, "Enormous sinkhole swallows bus and passengers in China, killing at least 6 people," 14 Jan. 2020 On June 10 the ground collapsed causing a sinkhole near the intersection of Howard and Pratt streets and cutting off access to the northbound Light Rail toward Hunt Valley. Oyin Adedoyin,, "What’s the fastest way to get to BWI? We sent four reporters by car, Light Rail, bus and Lyft to find out.," 5 Aug. 2019 In Potomac, the storm caused a massive sinkhole that has trapped dozens of residents in the Belfast Road neighborhood. Washington Post, "Here’s what you need to know about the afternoon commute following Monday morning’s flooding," 8 July 2019 Sullivan’s team retrieved two 40-feet-long sediment cores from the bottom of a 60-feet-deep sinkhole on the southern end of the lagoon. Rachel Fritts, Ars Technica, "Hurricanes, climate change, and the decline of the Maya," 31 Dec. 2019 Caruthersville: Dozens of sinkholes, some up to 12 feet deep, are dotting the landscape in this small southeastern Missouri city, forcing road detours, swallowing sections of people’s yards and leaving city leaders scrambling to make repairs. USA TODAY, "White Sands dust-up, distracted-driving cams, hog rules: News from around our 50 states," 10 Dec. 2019 Researchers off the Bahamas have gone underwater to take core samples from ethereal submarine sinkholes, called blue holes, writes Robin George Andrews. National Geographic, "Why focus on Jupiter?," 13 Nov. 2019 In regular session, the board discussed and approved the relocation of staff and students at Garrison Elementary School, which has reported several sinkholes on campus. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "How they voted, Aug. 4," 4 Aug. 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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The first known use of sinkhole was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sinkhole.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce sinkhole (audio)

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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