See more synonyms for ooze on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object), oozed, ooz·ing.
  1. (of moisture, liquid, etc.) to flow, percolate, or exude slowly, as through holes or small openings.
  2. to move or pass slowly or gradually, as if through a small opening or passage: The crowd oozed toward the entrance.
  3. (of a substance) to exude moisture.
  4. (of something abstract, as information or courage) to appear or disappear slowly or imperceptibly (often followed by out or away): His cockiness oozed away during my rebuttal speech.
  5. to display some characteristic or quality: to ooze with piety.
verb (used with object), oozed, ooz·ing.
  1. to make by oozing.
  2. to exude (moisture, air, etc.) slowly.
  3. to display or dispense freely and conspicuously: He can ooze charm when it serves his interest.
  1. the act of oozing.
  2. something that oozes.
  3. an infusion of oak bark, sumac, etc., used in tanning.

Origin of ooze

before 1000; Middle English wos(e) (noun), wosen (v.), Old English wōs juice, moisture

Synonyms for ooze

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  1. Geology. a calcareous or siliceous mud composed chiefly of the shells of one-celled organisms, covering parts of the ocean bottom.
  2. soft mud, or slime.
  3. a marsh or bog.

Origin of ooze

before 900; Middle English wose, Old English wāse mud
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ooze

Contemporary Examples of ooze

Historical Examples of ooze

  • He leans over the rail, his hand supporting his cheek, and gazes into the ooze.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • Thus, day by day, he sank deeper into the ooze of a wrecked and wasted life.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • They were rising by hundreds from the ooze that cloaked the bottom of the ditch.

  • And now, for fear my courage will ooze out, I must tell you quickly.

  • My hands did not falter and the music seemed to ooze from my wrists.

    Old Fogy

    James Huneker

British Dictionary definitions for ooze


  1. (intr) to flow or leak out slowly, as through pores or very small holes
  2. to exude or emit (moisture, gas, etc)
  3. (tr) to overflow withto ooze charm
  4. (intr often foll by away) to disappear or escape gradually
  1. a slow flowing or leaking
  2. an infusion of vegetable matter, such as sumach or oak bark, used in tanning

Word Origin for ooze

Old English wōs juice


  1. a soft thin mud found at the bottom of lakes and rivers
  2. a fine-grained calcareous or siliceous marine deposit consisting of the hard parts of planktonic organisms
  3. muddy ground, esp of bogs

Word Origin for ooze

Old English wāse mud; related to Old French wāse, Old Norse veisa
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 ooze

late 14c., wosen, verbal derivative of Old English noun wos "juice, sap," from Proto-Germanic *wosan (cf. Middle Low German wose "scum"), from same source as ooze (n.). Modern spelling from late 1500s. The Old English verb was wesan. Related: Oozed; oozing.


"soft mud," Old English wase "soft mud, mire," from Proto-Germanic *waison (cf. Old Saxon waso "wet ground, mire," Old Norse veisa "pond of stagnant water"), from PIE *weis- "to flow" (see virus). Modern spelling is mid-1500s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper