\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from swamp


swamp adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for swamp

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun My two-hour ride also stopped under Spanish moss, amid coastal scrub and along the boundary of a mangrove swamp. Simon Peter Groebner, Star Tribune, "Florida's wild 'quarantine' island is an escape from Fort Myers' crowds," 19 Feb. 2021 The descent of a significant portion of the GOP base into the QAnon extremist ideology swamp has dogged House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and his party for months. J.d. Crowe | Jdcrowe@al.com, al, "The Grand Old QAnon Party: Fringe with benefits," 7 Feb. 2021 For those who want to slowly enjoy the water, there are more than nine trails available for paddling throughout the region, plus swamp tours and access to the Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge. Amanda Mcelfresh, NOLA.com, "St. Mary Parish ready to welcome visitors to top-notch outdoor activities, museums and local attractions," 31 Jan. 2021 On occasion pangas swamp or roll over, pitching people into waves or rip currents, as happened last August when two migrants died at Ocean Beach. New York Times, "Risking Everything to Come to America on the Open Ocean," 28 Jan. 2021 It could hardly have been called a swamp-draining four years, with multiple grifters and unimpressive individuals achieving senior positions in the administration. David L. Bahnsen, National Review, "A Final Assessment of the Trump Presidency, and the Path Forward," 17 Jan. 2021 Chefs have turned invasive species like feral hogs, swamp rats, lionfish and Asian carp into delectable meals. Rasha Aridi, Smithsonian Magazine, "Could Invasive Burmese Pythons Soon Be on the Menu in Florida?," 30 Dec. 2020 And for decades, Americans have been attracted to presidential candidates who have promised to be true outsiders and fix Washington—to do what Trump more colorfully called draining the swamp. Kyle Edward Williams, The New Republic, "The End of the Businessman President," 9 Dec. 2020 By the time Jefferson was sworn in, declaring his hopes that Americans would work together, Adams was eight hours away, moving as quickly from the Washington swamp as his team of horses could take him. Ted Widmer, WSJ, "How John Adams Got Over Political Defeat," 4 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That supposedly gives Bitcoin the edge over the dollar or Euro, currencies whose buying power can shrink when central banks swamp the markets with liquidity in their quest to hold down rates. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Bitcoin is proving it’s not the hedge against inflation that some boosters claim," 24 Feb. 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 Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Wednesday his government needs to introduce the unpopular measure amid fears that new, more contagious variants of the virus could lead to a spike in infections and swamp the health care system. Mike Corder, Star Tribune, "Dutch lawmakers slam planned coronavirus curfew," 21 Jan. 2021 Gary Gensler hasn't even been confirmed yet, but President Joe Biden's pick to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission will take the helm as a growing tempest threatens to swamp small investors. NBC News, "GameStop madness presents a challenge for Biden's potential SEC chief," 1 Feb. 2021 The waves also want to swamp a line of nearby human caricatures — all wearing masks and created by Shiloh to represent family members — but, not to worry. Sheila Grissett | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "Good Times: Keeping our heads above water at Mardi Gras and beyond," 30 Jan. 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. Shwanika Narayan, SFChronicle.com, "Defiant owner’s ‘mask free’ yoga leads San Mateo County to sue Pacifica studio," 22 Jan. 2021 The leader of a trade group representing California hospitals said Friday that the peak of the current wave is expected to swamp the state's health care system starting in about a week. Star Tribune, "California awaits a virus 'tsunami'," 9 Jan. 2021 But a faster-spreading virus could swamp hospitals with seriously ill patients. Time, "California Has the Second Confirmed Case of the Coronavirus Variant in the U.S.," 31 Dec. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about swamp

Statistics for swamp

Last Updated

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Swamp.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swamp. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!