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See more synonyms for seep on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object)
  1. to pass, flow, or ooze gradually through a porous substance: Water seeps through cracks in the wall.
  2. (of ideas, methods, etc.) to enter or be introduced at a slow pace: The new ideas finally seeped down to the lower echelons.
  3. to become diffused; permeate: Fog seeped through the trees, obliterating everything.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to cause to seep; filter: The vodka is seeped through charcoal to purify it.
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  1. moisture that seeps out; seepage.
  2. a small spring, pool, or other place where liquid from the ground has oozed to the surface of the earth.
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Origin of seep

1780–90; perhaps variant of dial. sipe, itself perhaps continuing Old English sīpian (cognate with Middle Low German sīpen)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for seeped

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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


  1. (intr) to pass gradually or leak through or as if through small openings; ooze
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  1. a small spring or place where water, oil, etc, has oozed through the ground
  2. another word for seepage
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Word Origin

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper