\ 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

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Other Words from swamp


swamp adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for swamp

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Fiona, the pet falcon missing for two days and whose 78-year-old owner got stuck in a swamp in Westborough looking for her, was found Saturday by an off-duty firefighter. Shafaq Patel, BostonGlobe.com, "Off-duty firefighter finds missing falcon in Westborough," 11 Jan. 2020 Ghost orchids have a niche in the deeper water areas of the swamp, so even a few-inch decline in water levels could lead to wildfires that could destroy their population. Mac Stone, National Geographic, "Florida’s rare ghost orchids are getting cut off from water," 25 Oct. 2019 Certainly that must have been a grim fight, in the gloomy, lonely recesses of the swamp, with no one to watch the midnight death struggle between the powerful, naked man and the ferocious brute that was his almost unseen assailant. Declan Leary, National Review, "Theodore Roosevelt on the Range," 12 Sep. 2019 Twin Pines officials have said their own studies show that mining would have a negligible impact on the swamp. Tim Darnell, ajc, "Mining plan lands Okefenokee on ‘endangered’ US rivers list," 15 Apr. 2020 Intermittently, Beltway writers issued calls for others to abandon the swamps of Washington and rejuvenate local institutions and state politics, which served mainly to illustrate the desperation of the situation. Nick Burns, National Review, "America’s Response to the Coronavirus Proves Federalism Isn’t Dead," 2 Apr. 2020 Shrimp raised in farms made by destroying mangrove swamps. Polly Campbell, Cincinnati.com, "Polly: Everyone has guilty pleasures. These are mine," 30 Mar. 2020 Earlier, the most challenging thing about getting the venture going was navigating a swamp of regulations, particularly since alcohol sales are involved. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "New rooftop bar coming to downtown Huntsville," 23 Mar. 2020 The lake served as the repository for the city’s sewage, making it little more than a fetid swamp — and a spawning ground for millions upon millions of mosquitoes. Richard A. Marini, ExpressNews.com, "Malaria was deadlier than COVID-19 in 1920s, and one San Antonio doctor lured in bats to stop it," 17 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In getting swamped in its debut, Disney may have been a victim of its own successful promotional campaign leading up to the Disney Plus debut -- having heavily marketed it ahead of the launch in the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands. Todd Spangler, chicagotribune.com, "Here’s what went wrong during Disney Plus launch," 12 Nov. 2019 But the playing field in 2020 is more even, and the results in the House in 2018 — when Republicans were swamped in districts that had previously been blue, purple, or even light red — provide reasons for worry. Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review, "Character Effects," 7 Nov. 2019 The Oregon Employment Department acknowledges it has been completely swamped by the flood of jobless claims. Mike Rogoway | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Laid-off workers are confounded by Oregon’s overwhelmed jobless claims system," 3 Apr. 2020 Some business owners said they are being swamped with new texts and emails offering funds. Gretchen Morgenson, NBC News, "FTC official: Legal 'loan sharks' may be exploiting coronavirus to squeeze small businesses," 3 Apr. 2020 In a telephone interview last week, Cogan said she has been swamped with phone calls from athletes looking for help. Juliet Macur, New York Times, "‘It’s Just So Devastating’: Olympic Delay Is Especially Hard for Gymnasts," 1 Apr. 2020 Funeral directors are growing worried that, should the grimmest coronavirus scenarios become reality, they will be swamped with victims and at the end of the line for scarce safety equipment to handle infectious bodies. Michael M. Phillips, WSJ, "Funeral Homes, Eying Pandemic, Fear Equipment Shortages, Too," 21 Mar. 2020 Meanwhile hundreds of drivers, who say they are swamped by the debt on their loans, are seeking to sell their medallions and 172 drivers have had their loans foreclosed. Carolyn Said, SFChronicle.com, "Multimillion-dollar SF taxi medallion case seeks resolution," 16 Feb. 2020 In mid-March, every health agency was bracing to be swamped with COVID-19 cases this week, but Gov. Gavin Newsom has said in the past few days that California’s surge will now likely come toward the middle of next month. Kevin Fagan, SFChronicle.com, "Battling coronavirus: Bay Area lines up hotel rooms, shelters for vulnerable, sick homeless people," 7 Apr. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for swamp

Time Traveler

The first known use of swamp was in 1624

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Statistics for swamp

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Swamp.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swamp. Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for swamp


How to pronounce swamp (audio)

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on swamp

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for swamp

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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