Definition of sump in English:

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Pronunciation: /səmp/


1A pit or hollow in which liquid collects, in particular.
Example sentences
  • The firm also claimed that each skip had four drainage holes to allow waste liquid to drain into a sump.
  • All the leachate drains by gravity from the leachate collection layer to a sump, from which it is pumped out of the landfill for treatment and disposal.
  • Back then there were not many cave divers active in the Yorkshire Dales and most sumps were virtually unexplored.
1.1The base of an internal combustion engine, which serves as a reservoir of oil for the lubrication system.
Example sentences
  • Older engines used a camshaft located in the sump near the crankshaft.
  • There is also a ladder frame assembly between the sump and crankcase.
  • They prevent the fuel/air mixture and exhaust in the combustion chamber from leaking into the sump during compression and combustion.
1.2A depression in the floor of a mine or basement in which water collects.
1.3A cesspool.
Example sentences
  • If all houses and apartment complexes keep their water tanks and sumps clean and treated with chlorine frequently, mosquito breeding can be prevented to an extent.
  • ‘No power in our house also means we cannot pump water from the sumps to the tank,’ Mukund, a resident, complained.
  • A waste sump overflowed in September causing hundreds of gallons of contaminated water to pour into the Gullielands Burn which flows through the Chapelcross site.


Middle English (in the sense 'marsh'): from Middle Dutch or Low German sump, or (in the mining sense) from German Sumpf; related to swamp.

  • swamp from early 17th century:

    Swamp is first found in the compound ‘swampwater’ and probably goes back to a Germanic root with the senses ‘sponge, fungus’. Sump (Middle English) is probably related, as it is first found with the meaning ‘swamp’.

Words that rhyme with sump

bump, chump, clump, crump, dump, flump, frump, gazump, grump, jump, lump, outjump, plump, pump, rump, scrump, slump, stump, thump, trump, tump, ump, whump

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sump

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