\ 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

The now-famous swamp-dweller also made an appearance at the press conference, delighting the crowd. Time, "Here's How the New Lion King Is Different From the Original," 16 July 2019 One morning in early February the three of them led me into the swamps of greater Naples. Gena Steffens, Smithsonian, "The Snakes That Ate Florida," 11 July 2019 Donald Trump ran in part on a promise to bring the self-serving partisan swamp dwellers of Washington to heel and make government work for the American people. Jack Holmes, Esquire, "Hello? Is It a President You're Looking for?," 22 Jan. 2018 However, when search was made for him his body was found in the path through the swamp, all gashed and torn, and but a few steps from him the body of a cougar, stabbed and cut in many places. Declan Leary, National Review, "Theodore Roosevelt on the Range," 12 Sep. 2019 Another smart strategy: Stay away from freshwater hardwood swamps—mainly in the Atlantic and Gulf Coast states and the Great Lakes region, where EEEV transmission is most common, per the CDC. Korin Miller, Health.com, "Eastern Equine Encephalitis Has Reportedly Killed 1 Woman—Here's What to Know About the Mosquito-Borne Disease," 26 Aug. 2019 Scientists long thought the electric eels found in swamps, streams, creeks and rivers across South America were all the same species. Julia Hollingsworth, CNN, "Newly identified electric eel is the most powerful ever found, say scientists," 11 Sep. 2019 The protesting exaggerations by the Energy Department (part of the swamp) and an advocacy group, The Alliance to Save Energy, were over the top. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: St. Paul’s bad garbage contract discourages customer service and makes robots of haulers, apparently," 8 Sep. 2019 Trump is going to portray Biden as a creature of the Washington swamp, and call him out as a corrupt politician who used his power and influence to enrich his family. Marc A. Thiessen, The Mercury News, "Thiessen: What if voters are wrong about Biden’s electability?," 12 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

What if Trump’s fans swamp their precincts, and Democrats yawn about pulling the Biden lever in November 2020? Deroy Murdock, National Review, "What Makes Joe Run?," 6 Sep. 2019 Charlestonians have had plenty of time to hone our gallows humor as we have been swamped by four major storms in four years, and the disastrous flooding that comes with them. Steve Bailey, BostonGlobe.com, "Charleston to climate deniers: Come walk in our boots," 5 Sep. 2019 The DeepNude website was quickly swamped with downloads and was soon taken down. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Author pulls software that used deep learning to virtually undress women," 28 June 2019 Swollen rivers in Nebraska, Iowa and other states have swamped grain bins and blocked rail lines and roads. Paul Page, WSJ, "Today’s Logistics Report: Hedging on Futures; Flooding Swamps Midwest; Paying Higher Premiums," 29 Mar. 2019 Bronin swamped his competitors, former Mayor Eddie Perez and state Rep. Brandon McGee, by more than 3,000 votes. Daniela Altimari, courant.com, "In Connecticut’s major cities, it’s the year of the white man in politics," 15 Sep. 2019 And then subtract the larger wave of compassion and support for Luck that immediately swamped any anger. Dave Hyde, sun-sentinel.com, "Hyde: A change in sports for the better — Luck is commended, not reviled | Commentary," 25 Aug. 2019 The improved levee worked this year, until it was finally overtopped by floodwaters that swamped Trantina’s business. David A. Lieb, The Denver Post, "States brace for long-term flood fight as damage costs soar," 11 Aug. 2019 Next comes a heavy storm that swamps the complex’s elaborate waterfront landscaping, but leaves the buildings themselves dry. Tim Logan, BostonGlobe.com, "Video depicts how rising seas will affect South Boston," 16 July 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

12 Oct 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

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