1 of 2


ˈswämp How to pronounce swamp (audio)
: a wetland often partially or intermittently covered with water
especially : one dominated by woody vegetation
: a tract of swamp
: a difficult or troublesome situation or subject
swamp adjective


2 of 2


swamped; swamping; swamps

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to become submerged

Examples of swamp in a Sentence

Noun Alligators live in the lowland swamps. be careful in the swamp, because alligators sometimes lurk there Verb The sea level rose and swamped the coastal villages. The boat sank after it was swamped by waves.
Recent Examples on the Web
Get up early, though: The cakes are usually gone by midmorning, as a line of would-be buyers snakes through the parking lot and out toward Chef Menteur Highway, the long, flat road that stretches through the dredged swamp back toward the heart of New Orleans. Joan Niesen, Washington Post, 23 Jan. 2024 Conservatives, tapping into the decline of public trust in authority since Vietnam and Watergate, turned the government, the media, Wall Street, and the Ivy League into the swamp, the fake news, the globalists, and the ivory tower. Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, 22 Jan. 2024 But back in 1923, when Fort Lauderdale had a population of approximately 2,000, what is now Rio Vista Isles looked more like the Everglades, a vast mangrove swamp south of the New River. Bill Kearney, Sun Sentinel, 12 Jan. 2024 DeSantis then embarked on a five-minute-long answer touching on his own legislative record as governor of Florida while ticking through the former president’s policy failures: elevating Anthony Fauci, not draining the swamp, not finishing the border wall. Audrey Fahlberg, National Review, 25 Jan. 2024 Donald Trump, obviously, didn't build the wall, didn't drain the swamp, and didn't reduce the debt. ABC News, 14 Jan. 2024 Traversing swamps, marshes, bogs, fens, bayous and baygalls across Georgia, Louisiana and his home of East Texas, Carter creates haunting photographs that invoke the imagination. Donny Bajohr, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Dec. 2023 After leaving the gorgeous golds and ochres of their pond behind, the five ducks touch down for the night in an ominous swamp, where a pair of potentially frightening storks offer them shelter. Peter Debruge, Variety, 20 Dec. 2023 His body was found 14 days later less than a half-mile from the facility, lying in a swamp next to a pond. Steven Rich, Washington Post, 17 Dec. 2023
The only reason the delicacy has not swamped jollof rice in popularity is because of its difficult preparation. Emiene Wright, Charlotte Observer, 30 Jan. 2024 In the months leading up to April, rooftop solar companies were swamped with customers wanting to install their systems under the more generous compensation rates in place prior to the implementation of NEM 3. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Jan. 2024 Firearms have been prohibited in the square since 2021, a year after thousands of gun rights advocates from around the country swamped downtown Richmond with a massive protest against gun control. Laura Vozzella, Washington Post, 15 Jan. 2024 Live Coverage Feed Updated 21 hours ago Citigroup Posts Fourth-Quarter Loss on One-Time Charges Citigroup swung to a loss in the fourth quarter, swamped by a bevy of one-time charges. Justin Baer, WSJ, 12 Jan. 2024 And one possible answer is that many of them are underwater, swamped by sea levels that rose as the gargantuan ice sheets melted. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 5 Oct. 2023 Overall, local authorities were unprepared for the crisis and swamped by the demands of the day. Mark Berman, Washington Post, 18 Jan. 2024 In this, the year is also a useful tool for understanding pop culture, an expanse of time wide enough to measure trends and short enough not to be swamped by them. Los Angeles Times, 18 Jan. 2024 At times, though, transmission of these bugs occurred outside their pre-Covid patterns, such as the surge of kids suffering from RSV that swamped pediatric hospitals in the early autumn of 2022. Helen Branswell, STAT, 23 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History



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

First Known Use


1624, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1784, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of swamp was in 1624

Dictionary Entries Near swamp

Cite this Entry

“Swamp.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swamp. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
ˈswämp How to pronounce swamp (audio)
: wet spongy land often partly covered with water


2 of 2 verb
: to fill or become filled with or as if with water
: overwhelm sense 2
was swamped with work

More from Merriam-Webster on swamp

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