\ ˈswämp How to pronounce swamp (audio) , ˈswȯmp\

Definition of swamp

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a wetland often partially or intermittently covered with water especially : one dominated by woody vegetation
2 : a tract of swamp
3 : a difficult or troublesome situation or subject


swamped; swamping; swamps

Definition of swamp (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to fill with or as if with water : inundate, submerge
b : to overwhelm numerically or by an excess of something : flood swamped with work
2 : to open by removing underbrush and debris

intransitive verb

: to become submerged

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from swamp


swamp adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for swamp

Synonyms: Noun

bog, fen, marsh, marshland, mire, moor, morass, muskeg, slough (also slew), swampland, wash, wetland

Synonyms: Verb

deluge, drown, engulf, flood, gulf, inundate, overflow, overwhelm, submerge, submerse

Antonyms: Verb


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of swamp in a Sentence


Alligators live in the lowland swamps. be careful in the swamp, because alligators sometimes lurk there


The sea level rose and swamped the coastal villages. The boat sank after it was swamped by waves.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But then a simpler explanation may be: The swamp is winning. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Biggest Threat to 5G Is the D.C. Swamp," 8 Mar. 2019 Not to be confused with No. 5, another swamp tour, this one in Louisiana. TripAdvisor's Top 10 Experiences in America 1. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Really? Hoover Dam is the 4th best travel experience in America?," 3 July 2018 The group has been to opening day baseball games, toured the Indianapolis 500, rented an air boat and did a swamp tour near New Orleans. Blair Kerkhoff, kansascity, "Thirty-seven consecutive Final Fours and counting, hoops are this group's bond," 31 Mar. 2018 Tiffany Haddish‘s love for Groupon has been well documented, the 38-year-old Girls Trip star even once using the discount service site to take costar Jada Pinkett-Smith and husband Will Smith on a now-infamous Louisiana swamp tour. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "The Best Thing Tiffany Haddish Bought on Groupon Got Her a Date and Saved Her Toilet Paper," 4 Feb. 2018 Bright, meanwhile, has sought to frame himself as more closely connected to the people who live in the district and paint Roby as a creature of the Washington swamp. Li Zhou, Vox, "Trump endorsed one of his critics. Will it be enough to help her win her runoff in Alabama?," 17 July 2018 And non-stop outrage also drowns out Washington’s problem: the power of the swamp and its disconnection from ordinary voters. The Economist, "American politicsThe one-year-old Trump presidency," 13 Jan. 2018 The mud found around Sue the T. rex had previously yielded a few bird bones and dinosaur fossils and limited evidence of a swamp-like environment via a crocodile tooth. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "A New Shark Species Was Found in the Mud of Sue the T. Rex," 21 Jan. 2019 Your computer’s keyboard Not far off from your cell phone, your computer keyboard is another potential swamp of bacterial and viral invaders, Raut says. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "These Are the Dirtiest Things in Your Home (Which You Should Clean Immediately)," 21 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This past July, a Duck boat was swamped when a sudden storm swept across Table Rock Lake in Branson. Christine Clarridge, The Seattle Times, "Lengthy civil trial begins in 2015 Ride the Ducks crash that killed 5 in crash on Aurora Bridge," 16 Oct. 2018 In McAllen, a largely Hispanic city, the chaos and confusion seemed somehow worse because of a massive morning downpour that flooded streets and swamped cars on Thursday. Maria Sacchetti, Washington Post, "Two powerful forces collide at the U.S.-Mexico border, as immigration policy meets desperation," 22 June 2018 Taken as a whole, the Fusionists were too great in number and swamped the Democrats in the state legislature and the governorship. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "What real patriotism looks like," 4 Apr. 2018 Jose Perez-Santiago, an Afghanistan war veteran, retrieved belongings on Wednesday from a Spring Lake house swamped by the overflowing Little River. Alex Derosier And Alan Suderman, Fox News, "Reckoning with loss of homes, livelihoods after Florence," 21 Sep. 2018 First responders also had to rescue dozens of people trapped in buildings swamped by water. BostonGlobe.com, "On social media, videos show torrential flooding pour through residential streets in Maryland city," 28 May 2018 Immigrant advocates’ offices, meanwhile, are swamped. Time, "'No One Is Safe.' How Trump’s Immigration Policy Is Splitting Families Apart," 8 Mar. 2018 According to the release, the three students were with their team out near the northern point of Grosse Ile and their coach was monitoring in a nearby boat, when their rowboat became swamped by the wake of passing vessels. Aleanna Siacon, Detroit Free Press, "3 Grosse Ile high schoolers rescued after fall into Detroit River," 21 Apr. 2018 Sure, the best way to avoid spoilers is by watching each episode in real time, but when you're swamped with a busy schedule of carving pumpkins and baking apple desserts during the fall, that's not always possible. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "How to Watch 'The Good Doctor' Online," 1 Oct. 2018

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


1624, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1784, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for swamp


perhaps alteration of Middle English sompe, from Middle Dutch somp morass; akin to Middle High German sumpf marsh, Greek somphos spongy

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about swamp

Dictionary Entries near swamp





swamp angel

swamp apple

swamp ash

Statistics for swamp

Last Updated

16 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for swamp

The first known use of swamp was in 1624

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for swamp



English Language Learners Definition of swamp

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: land that is always wet and often partly covered with water



English Language Learners Definition of swamp (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cover (something) with water
: to cause (someone or something) to have to deal with a very large amount of things or people at the same time


\ ˈswämp How to pronounce swamp (audio) \

Kids Definition of swamp

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: wet spongy land often partly covered with water


swamped; swamping

Kids Definition of swamp (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to fill or cause to fill with water : sink after filling with water High waves swamped the boat. The boat swamped.
2 : overwhelm sense 1 She was swamped with work.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on swamp

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with swamp

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for swamp

Spanish Central: Translation of swamp

Nglish: Translation of swamp for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of swamp for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about swamp

Comments on swamp

What made you want to look up swamp? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move or proceed with twists and turns

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Bee Cubed

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!