verb (used without object)

to pass, flow, or ooze gradually through a porous substance: Water seeps through cracks in the wall.
(of ideas, methods, etc.) to enter or be introduced at a slow pace: The new ideas finally seeped down to the lower echelons.
to become diffused; permeate: Fog seeped through the trees, obliterating everything.

verb (used with object)

to cause to seep; filter: The vodka is seeped through charcoal to purify it.


moisture that seeps out; seepage.
a small spring, pool, or other place where liquid from the ground has oozed to the surface of the earth.

Origin of seep

1780–90; perhaps variant of dial. sipe, itself perhaps continuing Old English sīpian (cognate with Middle Low German sīpen) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for seeped

Contemporary Examples of seeped

  • It was a simple formula, really, and it seeped into my consciousness without me even realizing it.

    The Daily Beast logo
    No More Coddling!

    Joanne Lipman

    October 3, 2013

  • The paranoia he unleashed was so overwhelming that it seeped into every pore of society, including the Pendle witch trials.

    The Daily Beast logo
    This Week’s Hot Reads: Sept. 30, 2013

    Thomas Flynn, Jimmy So

    September 30, 2013

  • Ditching the bleach, he seeped manly confidence with what appears to be a samurai ponytail.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Roger Federer’s Hair Evolution

    Sujay Kumar

    June 9, 2013

  • As French culture has seeped out of its food, American culture has crept in.

    The Daily Beast logo
    How America Killed French Cuisine

    Kathleen Willcox

    July 7, 2009

Historical Examples of seeped

  • A dark patch on his back showed where the perspiration had seeped through.

    Faithfully Yours

    Lou Tabakow

  • Stained it was with fresh blood which had seeped onto it from him.

    Each Man Kills

    Victoria Glad

  • This was something that had seeped up from old feeling; it had no life of its own.


    Susan Glaspell

  • But no jungle odors had seeped through that other Tube on its completion.

    The Fifth-Dimension Tube

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

  • The water that seeped into the puddle on the floor moistened their lips as they talked.

    In the Heart of a Fool

    William Allen White

British Dictionary definitions for seeped



(intr) to pass gradually or leak through or as if through small openings; ooze


a small spring or place where water, oil, etc, has oozed through the ground
another word for seepage

Word Origin for seep

Old English sīpian; related to Middle High German sīfen, Swedish dialect sipa
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 seeped



1790, variant of sipe (c.1500), possibly from Old English sipian "to seep," from Proto-Germanic *sip- (cf. Middle High German sifen, Dutch sijpelen "to ooze"), from PIE root *seib- "to pour out, drip, trickle" (see soap (n.)). Related: Seeped; seeping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper