\ 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 From Nepal and Iran to Uruguay and Argentina, health systems are buckling as patients swamp hospitals, compounding the disease’s deadly toll. Jason Douglas, WSJ, "Covid-19 Retreats in the West, but the Pandemic Fight Is Far From Over," 6 May 2021 Now that people who want to drain the swamp that Trump polluted are running the Justice Department, lots of ugly things will be coming out into the open. Dahleen Glanton Chicago Tribune, Star Tribune, "Look on the bright side, GOP," 30 Apr. 2021 Paperbark samples contained a bustling unique population of bacteria not found in the surrounding soil or swamp, most of which fall into the methane-hungry genus Methylomonas. Max G. Levy, Wired, "Hungry, Hungry Microbes in Tree Bark Gobble Up Methane," 20 Apr. 2021 One boardwalk stretches over bayhead swamp on the Fallen Log Crossing and another leads up to the Osprey Overlook set under the shade of a pavilion. Patrick Connolly, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida Fresh Air: Tibet-Butler Preserve offers scenic hiking near Disney," 16 Apr. 2021 By the end of April 20, most of the 1,200 survivors had thrown down their arms; the rest were soon rounded up in the nearby Zapata swamp. Tony Perrottet, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Florida Resort That Played an Unlikely Role in the Bay of Pigs Fiasco," 16 Apr. 2021 Among the speedy oaks are the common red and willow oaks, but others include the overcup oak, the shingle oak, the swamp chestnut oak and the Nuttall oak. Washington Post, "The sturdy, steadfast oak is the perfect tree for troubled times," 14 Apr. 2021 To build it, the Dade County Port Authority purchased 39 square miles of uninhabited swamp land, 36 miles west of the Miami business district and just six miles north of the Everglades National Park. Jacopo Prisco, CNN, "Everglades Jetport: The 'world's greatest airport' that never was," 12 Apr. 2021 The Rougaroux is a small café named for a legendary Louisiana swamp creature. Kelly Kazek | Kkazek@al.com, al, "11 quirky and themed Alabama restaurants you shouldn’t miss," 8 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Republicans immediately questioned why Americans should sacrifice when Chinese coal pollution is likely to swamp any gains from U.S. emissions cuts, at least in the near term. New York Times, "Biden, Calling for Action, Commits U.S. to Halving Its Climate Emissions," 22 Apr. 2021 So far, astronomers and advocacy groups like Barentine’s have focused their worries on how the bright trails of individual satellites overhead disrupt naked-eye observers and swamp more sensitive astronomical observations. Joshua Sokol, Science | AAAS, "Study finds nowhere on Earth is safe from satellite light pollution," 28 Mar. 2021 Politics was destined always to swamp the hunt for Covid-19’s beginnings. WSJ, "Wuhan Lab Theory a Dark Cloud on China," 9 Mar. 2021 And now two very different legal concerns — insurrection cases in Washington and tribal land disputes out West — are threatening to totally swamp the department. Alanna Durkin Richer, Star Tribune, "Flood of Capitol riot, tribal cases swamps US prosecutors," 18 Mar. 2021 The plea deal represents a controversial coda to the disturbing case, one apparently influenced by a push to confront a massive backlog that threatens to swamp the court system. oregonlive, "‘I lost. Nothing I thought was going to happen happened.’," 17 Mar. 2021 The sheer volume of new programs threatens to swamp federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, leaving some lawmakers fearful about early delays. Washington Post, "Covid 19 live updates Daily new coronavirus cases hit new U.S. lows but experts warn about the looming spring break," 10 Mar. 2021 The sheer volume of new programs threatens to swamp federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, leaving some lawmakers fearful about early delays. Anchorage Daily News, "With congressional stimulus bill approval imminent, Biden prepares to send checks but big challenges loom," 10 Mar. 2021 All indoor gyms, fitness centers and yoga studios must close in areas covered by the state’s current stay-at-home orders, imposed after COVID-19 cases threatened to swamp state hospitals. Chronicle Staff, San Francisco Chronicle, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: Jan. 21-27, 2021," 6 Feb. 2021

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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Statistics for swamp

Last Updated

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Swamp.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swamp. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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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.

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