\ 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

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


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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And, like the tangled veins of cypress roots that meander this way and that in the swamp, everything in New Orleans is interrelated, wrapped around itself in ways that aren’t always obvious. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Dr. John, dead at 77: Revisit our 2017 & 1989 interviews with Rock Hall of Famer," 7 June 2019 Most Southerners just accept them as part of the cost of living in the swamp. Melissa Locker, ajc, "Here’s why Disney World doesn’t have mosquitoes," 29 June 2018 Worried, the landlord installed security cameras, only to find that the intruder was a surprising one: a fishing cat, better known for living in swamps than in the center of a bustling city. Jacqueline Alnes, Longreads, "Lions, Tigers, and a Rabbit Named Bugs: A Reading List on Animal-Human Interactions," 27 Apr. 2017 Over mountains and swamps, through castles and ziggurats, anywhere the World of Warcraft might lead. Alex Prewitt, SI.com, "One Big Dream: Yao Ming Wants to Make Chinese Basketball Global," 27 June 2019 Every year on June 26, riders take to the swamps of Donana National Park, in southern Spain, for a roundup of wild horses. Mark Dufrene, The Mercury News, "Photos: Wild horses are rounded up for sale in Spain during “Saca de las Yeguas”," 26 June 2019 For more than a marathon distance, our steps were squish and sponge in faint four-wheeler tracks pressed into the elevated swamps. Anchorage Daily News, "A 60-mile walk under the midnight sun, with no stops for sleep," 22 June 2019 Most of the trees planted were different types of native oak, including swamp white, burr, red and chinquapin. Frank Vaisvilas, Daily Southtown, "The ash trees are gone and maples are in decline, Homewood boosts its canopy with new oaks, beech trees," 7 June 2019 Drain the boob swamp for good with just a little antiperspirant. Elizabeth Denton, Seventeen, "12 Curvy Girl Fashion Hacks to Get You Through Summer," 23 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The town of Parker’s water system was swamped with fetid river water, the state had to allocate a half million dollars in emergency funds for mosquito control to stave off a public health crisis. John D'anna, azcentral, "For a while in 1983, sheets of plywood were all that kept the mighty Glen Canyon Dam from overflowing," 18 July 2019 Areas close to the intertidal zone, such as New Orleans, are forecast to be swamped by hours of rain as well as storm surges from the Gulf of Mexico. John Muyskens, Washington Post, "Tracking Barry as it moves toward Louisiana," 13 July 2019 Some roads in Greenville were swamped by an estimated 3 feet of water, according to the National Weather Service. Loyd Brumfield, Dallas News, "Greenville hit hardest by storms with powerful winds, but no injuries reported," 20 June 2019 The veterans who attended the D-Day memorial ceremony this week were swamped by grateful well-wishers from all over the continent. Christina Ruffini, CBS News, "The last of the best: A reporter reflects on the D-Day anniversary," 7 June 2019 Intermarriage had swamped the genetic heritage of the European immigrants, Krause suggests. Ann Gibbons, Science | AAAS, "Biblical Philistines—archenemies of ancient Israelites—hailed from Europe, DNA reveals," 3 July 2019 Other cities at risk: Earth's oceans could rise over 6 feet by 2100 as ice melts, swamping NYC, other cities Texas A&M Galveston’s population has doubled in the decade after Hurricane Ike to around 3,000 students. Max Cohen, USA TODAY, "'Let's double down.' Climate change could put these colleges underwater. Why they're staying put," 1 July 2019 The Texas Department of Agriculture, which, once the federal rules are made, will create a Texas hemp program, is also being swamped. John Maccormack, ExpressNews.com, "Hemp rush begins on West Texas farms," 29 June 2019 Unusually heavy monsoon rains spurred the state’s most devastating flooding in nearly a hundred years, swamping its coastal regions and killing nearly 500 people while displacing hundreds of thousands more. Alexandra Kirkman, Fortune, "Why You Should Visit Southern India on Your Next Vacation," 22 June 2019

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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Learn More about swamp

Dictionary Entries near swamp





swamp angel

swamp apple

swamp ash

Statistics for swamp

Last Updated

20 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for swamp

The first known use of swamp was in 1624

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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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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

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something desired as essential

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