\ 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 At Andersonville, a notoriously deadly Confederate prisoner-of-war camp located in a Georgia swamp, latrines were set up just a few yards from the ramshackle lean-tos in which Union prisoners ate and slept. Jonathan S. Jones, STAT, "Lessons learned — and forgotten — from the horrific epidemics of the U.S. Civil War," 18 Apr. 2021 Winter is approaching as the fellowship finds compelling evidence that a ship is buried in the swamp. Washington Post, "What to watch on Tuesday: ‘Chad’ on TBS," 6 Apr. 2021 Rescuers who found the plane partially buried in a swamp couldn’t recover Mathis, who was 28, but the Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command found him decades later and contacted Rowe, who was then the commander of the 44th. Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News, "A tale of one missing pilot informs reunion at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph," 26 Mar. 2021 Mostly white, mostly well-off, and mostly Republican, Villagers expect the America that Reagan once promised them: a shining suburb in a swamp. Sarah Jones, Vulture, "No Country for the Old: On Nomadland and Some Kind of Heaven," 25 Mar. 2021 But that would require Biden and the Democrats to commit to that goal and to pick leaders who will guide agriculture policy away from the pro-corporate swamp it has been stuck in for years. Charlie Mitchell, The New Republic, "Can Biden Keep His Promise to Make Farms Climate Friendly?," 16 Nov. 2020 The area that the airport also owns, but is undeveloped swamp, is 26,000 acres. Jacopo Prisco, CNN, "Everglades Jetport: The 'world's greatest airport' that never was," 12 Apr. 2021 On the right, Trumpism is usually seen as some version of a populism associated with myriad grievances—the establishment, the swamp, immigration, globalism—basically opposition to another evil empire. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "Trumpism According to Trump," 3 Mar. 2021 When water levels reach the threshold needed to trigger operation under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' authorization, the spillway redirects water from the Mississippi and floods the Atchafalaya River and swamp. Halle Parker | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "Longtime protectors of the Atchafalaya's swamps form coalition, push to join state task force," 25 Dec. 2020 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

27 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Swamp.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swamp. Accessed 8 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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