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 Attorneys for Mega Cavern are alleging that the zoo and various engineering consultants are to blame for the sinkhole. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Mega Cavern files lawsuit against Louisville Zoo over massive sinkhole," 7 Mar. 2020 The recovery effort was hampered by the structural damage to the buildings and what authorities believe is a sinkhole forming in the street. Ralph Ellis And Alec Snyder, CNN, "2 bodies recovered from Philadelphia row house fire," 21 Dec. 2019 The work near Dead Run was in a section of the northbound lanes of the parkway between Chain Bridge Road and the Capital Beltway, where a big sinkhole, 30 feet long, 20 feet wide and 10 feet deep, shut down the roadway earlier this year. Washington Post, "Northbound George Washington Parkway reopens after sinkhole work. Now potholes need to be fixed.," 11 Oct. 2019 In the case of the downtown sinkhole, Google Street View images of the Light Rail stop captured before the water main break occurred clearly show what appear to be at least five surveillance cameras mounted on poles on either side of the tracks. Scott Dance,, "MTA doesn’t want you to see footage of a Light Rail station collapsing into the street, citing security risk," 2 Aug. 2019 In May, school officials discovered a second sinkhole, about 4 feet long by 1 foot wide on a blacktop area, near the basketball courts. Deborah Sullivan Brennan, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Sinkholes form at Oceanside school," 29 July 2019 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

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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Statistics for sinkhole

Last Updated

17 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sinkhole.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Mar. 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

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

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