Meaning of swamp in English:


Pronunciation /swɒmp/

See synonyms for swamp

Translate swamp into Spanish


  • 1An area of low-lying, uncultivated ground where water collects; a bog or marsh.

    ‘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.’
    • ‘The river is lined with low bluffs alternating with wetlands, the latter either lightly wooded swamps or open marshes often locally dominated by a single plant species.’
    • ‘These birds require shallow water habitats for feeding such as streams, ponds, lakes, marshes, swamps, wetlands, and flooded fields.’
    • ‘They can live in freshwater and coastal marine habitats, including rivers, lakes, marshes, swamps, and estuaries.’
    • ‘In fact, the lower Kinabatangan wetlands, with their swamps and oxbow lakes and forests, host the largest concentration of wildlife in Malaysian Borneo.’
    • ‘The 17 streams that transect the parks usually end in the tidal swamps and marshes that are frequently encountered below an elevation of 3 m.’
    • ‘From seven in the morning till one in the afternoon we were marching, running, charging across hill and dale, through the swamps and the marshes, down on the ground, up again, and so on.’
    • ‘Indigenous to every continent except Antarctica, palms grow in arid deserts and brackish or fresh water swamps, in dry mountainous regions and tropical rain forests.’
    • ‘In the seventeenth century rice was grown on dry land, but in the next century it was chiefly grown in freshwater inland swamps or in lowland areas next to tidal rivers, where the ebb and flow irrigated the fields.’
    • ‘For Gogodala communities, the land and lagoons, swamps and stretches of water are marked and re-marked by the actions and movement of their lives, as well as those who came before them.’
    • ‘Visit ponds, swamps, fragile marshes, and pretty beaches along the Chesapeake, or fish the area's many streams and rivers.’
    • ‘Yet too many of the bottom lands, swamps, and marshes that drew me back no longer exist.’
    • ‘Little swamp marsh islands dotted the river between the two hills.’
    • ‘Muddy and broad, it picks its way across the plains, changing course at will, leaving a maze of dead ends, ox-bow lakes, swamps and lagoons.’
    • ‘The draining of the marsh Arabs' swamps and the forcing of them into Basra slums were planned out in those buildings.’
    • ‘Except for the tidally influenced channels, most creeks dry up, with a few pockets of water left in billabongs and permanent swamps.’
    • ‘In the swamps the water shimmered darkly and the slow snouts of alligators made semicircular ripples as they moved forward; water moccasins were curled over looping branches.’
    • ‘To study these reclusive animals, he wades barefoot through the swamps of Venezuela's llanos wetlands ecosystem in search of his water-dwelling subjects.’
    marsh, bog, quagmire, mire, morass, fen, quag, sump
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1An area of waterlogged ground.
      ‘the ceaseless deluge had turned the lawn into a swamp’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘On the fifth anniversary of the floods that swamped the county, the Environment Agency has dreamt up a scheme involving cat-flaps to ensure the flood defences are badger-proof.’
    • ‘Easingwold Secondary School remained closed today after flash floods swamped classrooms, causing thousands of pounds-worth of damage to computer equipment.’
    • ‘He said it was now 50 years since Britain was swamped by terrible floods that resulted in the loss of 300 lives and the flooding of 25,000 properties.’
    • ‘More than 131 villages have been swamped by the flood and over thousands of people have been rendered homeless in the district.’
    • ‘The warning came just nine months after Swindon was swamped by floods and could mean the town's first hosepipe ban for 15 years.’
    • ‘Police say it is a miracle no one was killed when a flash flood swamped an English village.’
    • ‘In New Orleans, the Army Corps of Engineers raced to patch the city's fractured levee system for fear the additional rain from Rita could swamp the walls and flood the city all over again.’
    • ‘The death toll from floods swamping large portions of northeastern India rose to 96 yesterday as six people died overnight, officials said.’
    • ‘It would be hard to miss the international media coverage of the devastating floods that swamped Prague, where the national team were based.’
    • ‘Harsh floods also swamped southwestern Bangladesh this year.’
    • ‘The Swordsman pub was again inundated today, only 13 months after being swamped in the great floods of 1999.’
    • ‘Early last year, massive floods swamped vast areas of the capital and directly affected more than 110,000 families in 138 subdistricts.’
    • ‘When the island of Phuket was swamped by giant waves on Boxing Day, his sons Michael 24, and Matthew, 19, from Salford, feared he was dead.’
    • ‘As aid starts to get through to the areas most affected, the Sri Lankan government is beginning to look at rebuilding homes and businesses swamped by the killer waves.’
    • ‘Towns in Indonesia's Aceh province, the closest region to the earthquake's epicentre, were swamped by the waves.’
    • ‘Traveller's World says it is attempting to contact a family which was on holiday in the Maldives when the islands were swamped by the waves.’
    • ‘They spotted a multi-storey building and got to the fourth floor when the wave hit, completely swamping the entire three floors below.’
    flood, inundate, deluge, wash out, soak, drench, saturate, immerse
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1no object (of a boat) become overwhelmed with water and sink.
      ‘the life boat somehow did not swamp, but made it to shore’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Following Blockley's death, his parents founded the Leo Blockley Memorial Campaign, which campaigns for safer rowing boats with the ability to withstand swamping or sinking.’
      • ‘The disabled yacht, swamped and on her side, was drifting nearby.’
      • ‘Forty rowers had to be rescued from the Thames after high winds caused their boats to become swamped during a race from Putney, west London.’
      • ‘The two rescuers help the swimmer into their boat by lifting, encouraging, balancing, and preventing their boat from swamping.’
      • ‘They're ragged, close together and, when the sea gets really bad, capable of undoing a recreational fishing vessel through swamping or capsizing or otherwise overwhelming the boat.’
      • ‘The men had been in a 23 foot powered canoe with four others transiting from Lale to Ghizo when their vessel was swamped, capsized and sunk.’
      • ‘A witness was concerned the wash could endanger staff working on moored boats in the area, as well as swamping rowing boats in the Putney area.’
      • ‘It has recently been suggested that a deck hatch was missing from the Solway Harvester and this could have allowed water to swamp the hold, sinking the boat in minutes.’
      • ‘The defense's theory was that Scott could not have thrown Laci's heavily pregnant body over the side of the tiny, anchor-filled boat without swamping the boat with water and tipping it over.’
      • ‘A brave dad died trying to save his two young sons after a freak gust of wind swamped their boat with water.’
      • ‘He said there was a fair amount of water in the river in those days, and rain, and the canoe was swamped as they navigated the rapids.’
      • ‘A North East of Scotland skipper claimed that tough new European regulations put his crew in danger after his vessel was swamped by a massive wave.’
      • ‘More than a few, however, baled their boat out of one wave only to be swamped by another.’
      • ‘The wall-of-water theory is that in a lashing force - nine storm in the Irish Sea, a huge wave built up, swamped the vessel and pushed it below the surface.’
    2. 1.2Overwhelm with an excessive amount of something; inundate.
      ‘the country was swamped with goods from abroad’
      • ‘feelings of guilt suddenly swamped her’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Earlier, Health Minister Omeed Medhat Mubarak said hospitals in the capital were swamped with wounded.’
      • ‘Baby Sasha brought smiles to the family again when she was born in November and the family was swamped with good wishes from Bradford fundraisers.’
      • ‘But he said it happened because the business took off and he was swamped with work and things became chaotic.’
      • ‘It was swamped with demand and ended up with orders worth €6.5 billion, three times what it hoped for.’
      • ‘As a senior administrator, Pat was swamped with preparations.’
      • ‘While the Courts are swamped with thousands of Bill of Rights cases, where will the ordinary person go for justice?’
      • ‘The sun is out, it's a glorious day, there's a cool breeze from time to time, the birds are singing and the place is swamped with tourists.’
      • ‘While Liu's directive appeared to give the poor peasant leagues an important role, in practice they were swamped by huge ‘human wave’ work teams.’
      • ‘But claims of a huge population boom swamping services are disputed.’
      • ‘More schools are needed to prevent classrooms being swamped by the flood of families moving to Colchester.’
      • ‘Any good quality triage is swamped by the flood of poor decisions and technical foul-ups.’
      • ‘The apparatus of censorship was swamped by a flood of polemical pamphlets denouncing the ‘constitution’.’
      • ‘The heat wave that swamped Europe in 2003, for example, is now estimated to have taken 45,000 lives.’
      • ‘Gee it's hot: The brutal heat wave that swamped southern Canada this last week saw mercury levels rise above temperatures recorded in Cancun, Calcutta and Athens.’
      • ‘A half dozen business schools were swamped by a wave of electronic intrusions Wednesday morning, after a computer hacker posted instructions on a BusinessWeek Online message board.’
      • ‘But the new wave threatening to swamp the tsunami-affected nations of Asia is aid.’
      overwhelm, inundate, flood, deluge, engulf, snow under, bury, overload, overburden, overpower, weigh down, besiege, beset, consume
      View synonyms


Early 17th century probably ultimately from a Germanic base meaning ‘sponge’ or ‘fungus’.