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swamp

[swomp]
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noun
  1. a tract of wet, spongy land, often having a growth of certain types of trees and other vegetation, but unfit for cultivation.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to flood or drench with water or the like.
  2. Nautical. to sink or fill (a boat) with water.
  3. to plunge or cause to sink in or as if in a swamp.
  4. to overwhelm, especially to overwhelm with an excess of something: He swamped us with work.
  5. to render helpless.
  6. to remove trees and underbrush from (a specific area), especially to make or cleave a trail (often followed by out).
  7. to trim (felled trees) into logs, as at a logging camp or sawmill.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to fill with water and sink, as a boat.
  2. to sink or be stuck in a swamp or something likened to a swamp.
  3. to be plunged into or overwhelmed with something, especially something that keeps one busy, worried, etc.
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Origin of swamp

1615–25; < Dutch zwamp creek, fen; akin to sump and to Middle Low German swamp, Old Norse svǫppr sponge
Related formsswamp·ish, adjectiveun·der·swamp, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for swamp

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Taku-Wakin could no more lead them out of the Swamp than his stick would leave him.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • Man, although he had just come, became king of this swamp, king for the night.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • "I got in the swamp trying to take a short cut," Frank explained.

  • But to go at it and drain the swamp was a very different matter.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • A nuisance on Balera, which is the equivalent of a Terran swamp.

    Join Our Gang?

    Sterling E. Lanier


British Dictionary definitions for swamp

swamp

noun
    1. permanently waterlogged ground that is usually overgrown and sometimes partly forestedCompare marsh
    2. (as modifier)swamp fever
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verb
  1. to drench or submerge or be drenched or submerged
  2. nautical to cause (a boat) to sink or fill with water or (of a boat) to sink or fill with water
  3. to overburden or overwhelm or be overburdened or overwhelmed, as by excess work or great numberswe have been swamped with applications
  4. to sink or stick or cause to sink or stick in or as if in a swamp
  5. (tr) to render helpless
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Derived Formsswampish, adjectiveswampless, adjectiveswampy, adjective

Word Origin

C17: probably from Middle Dutch somp; compare Middle High German sumpf, Old Norse svöppr sponge, Greek somphos spongy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for swamp

n.

1624 (first used by Capt. John Smith, in reference to Virginia), perhaps a dialectal survival from an Old English cognate of Old Norse svoppr "sponge, fungus," from Proto-Germanic *swampuz; but traditionally connected with Middle English sompe "morass, swamp," probably from Middle Dutch somp or Middle Low German sump "swamp." Related to Old Norse svöppr "sponge." Swamp Yankee "rural, rustic New Englander" is attested from 1941.

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v.

"overwhelm, sink (as if in a swamp)," 1772, from swamp (n.). Figurative sense is from 1818. Related: Swamped; swamping.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

swamp in Science

swamp

[swŏmp]
  1. An area of low-lying wet or seasonally flooded land, often having trees and dense shrubs or thickets.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.