1 of 2


ˈswämp How to pronounce swamp (audio)
: a wetland often partially or intermittently covered with water
especially : one dominated by woody vegetation
: a tract of swamp
: a difficult or troublesome situation or subject
swamp adjective


2 of 2


swamped; swamping; swamps

transitive verb

: to fill with or as if with water : inundate, submerge
: to overwhelm numerically or by an excess of something : flood
swamped with work
: to open by removing underbrush and debris

intransitive verb

: to become submerged

Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Extremely protecting Americans' rights and freedoms, such as free speech and our 2A. Extremely draining the swamp, extremely destroying the deep state, and extremely opposing globalists. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, 25 Apr. 2023 The documentary’s reveal about Scipio Lesesne’s role begins answering a central question of how Mack escaped, previously believed by the family to have happened with Mack traversing Florida’s swamps before meeting with his later-wife and stepdaughter. Cristóbal Reyes, Orlando Sentinel, 14 Apr. 2023 The scenic wetlands are the remains of the Great Black Swamp and, since the swamp was drained, only 10 percent of Ohio’s original wetlands remain. Molly Mcardle, Travel + Leisure, 22 Mar. 2023 Regions lacking easy and affordable access to healthy foods, with high concentrations of fast food and food from convenience stores, are sometimes referred to by food equality activists as food swamps. Gia Mora, Treehugger, 22 Feb. 2023 The book grew out of the author’s research into how real-life escapees were able to survive in this dangerous Southern swamp, Luqman-Dawson told KidsPost in an interview in February. Mary Quattlebaum, Washington Post, 30 Jan. 2023 Environmental activists have said mining would lower water levels in the swamp, putting its ecosystem even more at risk due to drought and wildfires. Saleen Martin, USA TODAY, 19 Apr. 2023 Multiple dangers imperiled drivers in Charlton on Sunday afternoon, including tractor trailer crashes, a multi-vehicle crash near Route 20 that led to a diesel spill, and a police chase ending in an arrest in a swamp, officials said. Collin Robisheaux, BostonGlobe.com, 2 Apr. 2023 The filthy talk of collusion, of course hyperbolized by Unsocial Media, again is crawling out of the swamp. Nick Canepa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Mar. 2023
The demand, whetted by some 13 years of frustration, absolutely swamped the supply of legal beer. Merrie Monteagudo, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Apr. 2023 He could be swamped by his feelings, like a kid wearing a shirt several sizes too big. Jamie Fisher, The New Yorker, 30 Mar. 2023 By November 2021, the number had fallen to just five, but the arrival of thousands of migrant families and the rise in homelessness swamped the state’s emergency shelter system last year, reverting that progress. Samantha J. Gross, BostonGlobe.com, 22 Mar. 2023 Concurrently, rising sea levels caused by climate change will swamp many coastal cities throughout the world, forcing them to rebuild parts of themselves on higher ground. IEEE Spectrum, 14 Mar. 2023 Officials along California's Central Coast and Central Valley were struggling to address massive flooding after a levee failure on the Pajaro River in Monterey County swamped the area around the farming town of Pajaro, forcing several thousand people to leave their homes. Harold Maass, The Week, 13 Mar. 2023 Emergency call centers across the country are also swamped with calls. Grant Lancaster, Arkansas Online, 5 Mar. 2023 That means swamping the left with mail in votes, early votes, and election day votes, have to do it. Lalee Ibssa, ABC News, 4 Mar. 2023 It’s designed to wrestle us out of the stranglehold of perfectionism, because perfectionism can swamp us in the minutiae and the irrelevant. Terry Pluto, cleveland, 17 Oct. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'swamp.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



perhaps alteration of Middle English sompe, from Middle Dutch somp morass; akin to Middle High German sumpf marsh, Greek somphos spongy

First Known Use


1624, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1784, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of swamp was in 1624

Dictionary Entries Near swamp

Cite this Entry

“Swamp.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swamp. Accessed 31 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
ˈswämp How to pronounce swamp (audio)
: wet spongy land often partly covered with water


2 of 2 verb
: to fill or become filled with or as if with water
: overwhelm sense 2
was swamped with work

More from Merriam-Webster on swamp

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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