sink·​hole ˈsiŋk-ˌhōl How to pronounce sinkhole (audio)
: a hollow place or depression in which drainage collects
: a hollow in a limestone region that communicates with a cavern or passage
: 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 system became the first to hit Southern California as a tropical storm in decades earlier this week, bringing heavy flooding, mudflows and sinkholes to desert cities and smashing rainfall records. Kathryn Prociv, NBC News, 22 Aug. 2023 When downpours continued on Thursday, flooding basements and businesses and bursting the sewer pipe near Washington and Ford streets that carved out the sinkhole, Fiorentini issued a state of emergency. Tonya Alanez,, 14 Aug. 2023 Desertification, sinkholes and salty soil become more widespread. Sanam Mahoozi, Washington Post, 18 July 2023 Located about three hours by boat off Ambergris Caye, the Great Blue Hole is a ring of coral encircling a huge underwater sinkhole. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 25 Aug. 2023 Adam coordinates his son’s physical and behavioral therapies, a bureaucratic sinkhole of paperwork, as anyone with a special-needs child can attest. Hamilton Cain, Washington Post, 18 Aug. 2023 The raging water eventually created a massive sinkhole behind her home. Morgan Winsor, ABC News, 11 July 2023 In Haverhill, Mayor James Fiorentini declared a state of emergency after severe storms and flooding carved out a 20-foot sinkhole on a major road. Emma Obregón Dominguez,, 15 Aug. 2023 Road hazard: Winterberry Lane Police and the village Service Department responded on the evening of Aug. 4 to close off the street on a report of a sinkhole developing, possibly from a water main break causing a partial collapse of the roadway. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, 12 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sinkhole.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near sinkhole

Cite this Entry

“Sinkhole.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


sink·​hole ˈsiŋk-ˌhōl How to pronounce sinkhole (audio)
: a hollow place in which drainage collects

More from Merriam-Webster on sinkhole

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