\ ˈswämp , 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 mud found around Sue the T. rex had previously yielded a few bird bones and dinosaur fossils and limited evidence of a swamp-like environment via a crocodile tooth. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "A New Shark Species Was Found in the Mud of Sue the T. Rex," 21 Jan. 2019 Your computer’s keyboard Not far off from your cell phone, your computer keyboard is another potential swamp of bacterial and viral invaders, Raut says. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "These Are the Dirtiest Things in Your Home (Which You Should Clean Immediately)," 21 Dec. 2018 In the swamps of the Everglades, under the cover of darkness, the snake began to suffocate the gator by constricting it. Elizabeth Finny And Sonia Osorio, miamiherald, "Python vs. gator: A trapper steps in to save a life in the Everglades," 18 June 2018 Other parts of the video, stitched together from footage from drones and aircraft, show a group of seven US soldiers and four Nigerien troops who had escaped the ambush and fled into a swamp. Doug Criss, CNN, "5 things for May 17: White House, Niger ambush video, world population," 17 May 2018 In the wild, Western lowland gorillas like Louis might do it for a few seconds to reach food or wade into swamps. Bloomberg.com, "Gorilla at Philadelphia Zoo Takes Stand Against Dirty Hands," 16 Mar. 2018 In a political swamp full of alligators, summoning the ghosts of dead presidents is relatively safe ground. Michael Patrick Cullinane, Smithsonian, "Why Teddy Roosevelt Is Popular On Both Sides of the Political Aisle," 24 Apr. 2018 The trees grow in remote swamps in northwestern Florida and southern Georgia, but are most profuse along the Apalachicola River in Florida’s Gulf County. Jennifer Kay, The Seattle Times, "Hurricane Michael could sour Florida’s tupelo honey harvest," 22 Oct. 2018 The swamps of southern Louisiana, a territory of the Atakapa-Ishak tribe, are the grounds of pipeline resistance as communities are rising to stop the Bayou Bridge pipeline (BBP). Mary Lovell, Teen Vogue, "Bayou Bridge Pipeline Meets Resistance from the L’eau Est La Vie Camp," 16 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

According to the release, the three students were with their team out near the northern point of Grosse Ile and their coach was monitoring in a nearby boat, when their rowboat became swamped by the wake of passing vessels. Aleanna Siacon, Detroit Free Press, "3 Grosse Ile high schoolers rescued after fall into Detroit River," 21 Apr. 2018 Sure, the best way to avoid spoilers is by watching each episode in real time, but when you're swamped with a busy schedule of carving pumpkins and baking apple desserts during the fall, that's not always possible. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "How to Watch 'The Good Doctor' Online," 1 Oct. 2018 The fight — initially centered on helping young ‘‘Dreamer’’ immigrants stay in the country — has been swamped by heart-rending images of children in wire enclosures after being separated from their families at the border. Lisa Mascaro, BostonGlobe.com, "House will delay vote on GOP compromise immigration bill until Friday," 21 June 2018 The flooding began on barrier islands in North Carolina and then spread into coastal and river communities there and in South Carolina, swamping the white sands and golf courses in North Myrtle Beach. Barnini Chakraborty, Fox News, "Florence weakens to tropical depression, but flooding threat remains severe," 16 Sep. 2018 The official Laos news agency KPL on Tuesday said part of the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy dam collapsed late on Monday, swamping several villages near the site and leaving more than 6,600 people homeless. James Hookway, WSJ, "Hundreds Missing in Laos After Dam Collapses," 24 July 2018 Last summer, four people died after waves swamped a settlement in northwestern Greenland, according to Reuters. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, "Massive iceberg looms off Greenland coast, threatening tiny village," 13 July 2018 In fact since Hurricane Harvey swamped the Texas coast and Irma swept across Florida, FEMA has upped its warnings to homeowners about not using flood maps as blueprints for risks. Jenny Staletovich, miamiherald, "FEMA flood maps massively underestimate real risks, study finds. Florida’s a hot spot. | Miami Herald," 14 Mar. 2018 Pulsars that emit radio signals will, most likely, swamp any dark matter signal. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Pulsars could convert dark matter into something we could see," 20 Dec. 2018

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

2 Feb 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 \

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

What made you want to look up swamp? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deny responsibility for

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