Definition of swamp in English:

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Pronunciation: /swɒmp/


1An area of low-lying, uncultivated ground where water collects; a bog or marsh.
Example sentences
  • They usually breed in marshes and brushy swamps with some open water, dense, low vegetation, and perches for singing.
  • The area of low-lying swamp or marsh, as revealed through archaeology, is shown in brown.
  • Depending on the species, they may be found in freshwater, brackish, or marine areas including estuaries, swamps, marshes, and tidepools.
marsh, bog, quagmire, mire, morass, fen, quag, sump;
swampland, marshland, fenland, wetland;
North American  salina, bayou, moor
1.1An area of waterlogged ground: the ceaseless deluge had turned the lawn into a swamp
More example sentences
  • In the Serra da Bocaina, plants grow along the edges of montane forests, as well as in well drained high-altitude grasslands and temporary swamps that arc flooded in the summer months.


[with object]
1Overwhelm or flood with water: a huge wave swamped the canoes
More example sentences
  • They are all orphans who lost their families when huge waves swamped their coastal villages during the Boxing Day tsunami in the Indian Ocean.
  • When the flood swamped the classroom, she was struggling in the water along with her classmates.
  • One injured man surnamed Guo lost his newly acquired shoes after he was swamped by two waves of water over 10 metres high.
flood, inundate, deluge, wash out, soak, drench, saturate, immerse
1.1 [no object] (Of a boat) become overwhelmed with water and sink: the life boat somehow did not swamp, but made it to shore
More example sentences
  • A speed boat had become swamped and was sinking.
  • The first time, the boat swamped with water and they had to race back to dry land along Lincoln Avenue to bail the water.
  • The other key thing was I think in Sydney when the boat swamped, and Frank Dennis here sort of left the boat and deserted us and swam over to the bank, and we could have all drowned, and he just left us.
1.2Overwhelm with an excessive amount of something; inundate: the country was swamped with goods from abroad feelings of guilt suddenly swamped her
More example sentences
  • Carl, a 22-year-old salesman, heard officers shout ‘armed police’, and then the road was swamped with police vehicles.
  • Like hospitals, many of the province's mental health facilities are swamped with requests for help, and the people who need their services can't wait.
  • When we announced our second annual Proud Community Awards a few months ago, we were swamped with nominations.
overwhelm, inundate, flood, deluge, engulf, snow under, bury, overload, overburden, overpower, weigh down, besiege, beset, consume


Early 17th century: probably ultimately from a Germanic base meaning 'sponge' or 'fungus'.

  • 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 swamp

chomp, clomp, comp, pomp, romp, stomp, tromp, whomp, yomp

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: swamp

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