[ singk-hohl ]
See synonyms for sinkhole on
  1. a hole formed in soluble rock by the action of water, serving to conduct surface water to an underground passage.

  2. Also called sink. a depressed area in which waste or drainage collects.

Origin of sinkhole

late Middle English word dating back to 1425–75; see origin at sink, hole

Words Nearby sinkhole Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use sinkhole in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for sinkhole


/ (ˈsɪŋkˌhəʊl) /

  1. Also called (esp Brit): swallow hole a depression in the ground surface, esp in limestone, where a surface stream disappears underground

  2. a place into which foul matter runs

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

Scientific definitions for sinkhole


[ sĭngkhōl′ ]

  1. A natural depression in a land surface formed by the dissolution and collapse of a cavern roof. Sinkholes are roughly funnel-shaped and on the order of tens of meters in size. They generally occur in limestone regions and are connected to subteranean passages. Also called sink See more at karst topography.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.