[ suhmp ]
/ sʌmp /


a pit, well, or the like in which water or other liquid is collected.
Machinery. a chamber at the bottom of a machine, pump, circulation system, etc., into which a fluid drains before recirculation or in which wastes gather before disposal.
  1. a space where water is allowed to collect at the bottom of a shaft or below a passageway.
  2. a pilot shaft or tunnel pushed out in front of a main bore.
British. crankcase.
British Dialect. a swamp, bog, or muddy pool.

Origin of sump

1375–1425; late Middle English sompe < Middle Low German or Middle Dutch sump; cognate with German Sumpf; akin to swamp Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sump

British Dictionary definitions for sump


/ (sʌmp) /


a receptacle, such as the lower part of the crankcase of an internal-combustion engine, into which liquids, esp lubricants, can drain to form a reservoir
another name for cesspool
  1. a depression at the bottom of a shaft where water collects before it is pumped away
  2. the front portion of a shaft or tunnel, ahead of the main bore
British dialect a muddy pool or swamp

Word Origin for sump

C17: from Middle Dutch somp marsh; see swamp
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 sump



early 15c., "marsh, morass," from Middle Dutch somp or Middle Low German sump, from Proto-Germanic *sumpaz. Meaning "pit to collect water" is first found 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper