\ 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

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 Maybe a storm washed them out of a swamp next to the Gulf. Gena Steffens, Smithsonian, "The Snakes That Ate Florida," 11 July 2019 The swamp is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southwest of Norfolk. Washington Post, "Coal train derails into Great Dismal Swamp wildlife refuge," 26 June 2019 Today, thanks to the beavers, the swamp is more of a pond than quagmire. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "A fun visit to a hollow full of waterfalls, mountain laurel and rock formations in East Haddam," 14 June 2019 The plane, a small twin-engine Cessna bound for Miami, went down in a swamp shortly after taking off from the Bahamas on Aug. 25, 2001. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "Missy Elliott Leads Tributes to Aaliyah on 18th Anniversary of Her Death: 'Never Be Forgotten'," 25 Aug. 2019 In 2015 a researcher from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and her colleagues collected some leeches from a swamp in Maryland. Jeffery Delviscio, Scientific American, "A Flash on Jupiter, the Death of Mitochondria and the World under Your Skin: The Week’s Best Science GIFs," 16 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Skip to main content Entire communities were flattened and roads washed out while hospitals and airports were swamped by several feet of water due to Hurricane Dorian. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, "Hurricane Dorian: Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruise Line, others pledge support to Bahamas," 5 Sep. 2019 Peru's new measure follows in the footsteps of other nations that have been swamped with hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans. Martin Mejia, Fox News, "Venezuelan migrants pour into Peru before new rules enforced," 24 Aug. 2018 Even though the president’s properties in Palm Beach, Florida, will be swamped by sea-level rise, most billionaires are inherently immune to actual climate pain. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: Elect politicians who back curbing carbon emissions," 25 Aug. 2019 Tarantino’s meticulous filmmaking places us firmly in the real world, with fabrics and fixtures and haircuts so vividly done that the movie is swamped in atmosphere. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Quentin Tarantino’s #MeToo Moment?," 1 Aug. 2019 Coastal erosion and sea level rise can swamp ruins. Stephanie Pappas, Scientific American, "Viking History Is Melting Away in Greenland," 11 July 2019 The store typically gets swamped with tourists, but January and February are the least hectic months there, National Geographic says. Eric Todisco, PEOPLE.com, "This 100-Year-Old Theater Has Been Converted Into the Most Instagrammable Bookstore in the World," 21 June 2019 Cell phone users without adequate call blocking or call screening can be swamped everyday by fraudulent calls. Brooke Crothers, Fox News, "Nearly half all cell phone calls will be scams by 2019, report says," 21 Sep. 2018 Others worried that the fury over trade would swamp every other issue on the leaders’ agenda, particularly women’s advancement and a commitment to remove plastics from the ocean. Catherine Porter, New York Times, "Before the Smiles, Mounting Tensions Between Trudeau and Trump," 8 June 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

14 Sep 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

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


to make a temporary encampment

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