from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A low-lying place, such as a pit, that receives drainage.
  • n. A cesspool.
  • n. A hole at the lowest point of a mine shaft into which water is drained in order to be pumped out.
  • n. The crankcase or oil reservoir of an internal-combustion engine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A hollow or pit into which liquid drains, such as a cesspool, cesspit or sink.
  • n. The lowest part of a mine shaft into which water drains.
  • n. A completely flooded cave passage, sometimes passable by diving.
  • n. The crankcase or oil reservoir of an internal combustion engine.
  • n. The pit at the lowest point in a circulating or drainage system (FM 55-501).
  • n. An intentional depression around a drain or scupper that promotes drainage.
  • v. Of a cave passage, to end in a sump, or to fill completely with water on occasion.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A round pit of stone, lined with clay, for receiving the metal on its first fusion.
  • n. The cistern or reservoir made at the lowest point of a mine, from which is pumped the water which accumulates there.
  • n. A pond of water for salt works.
  • n. A puddle or dirty pool.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A puddle or pool of dirty water.
  • n. A pond of water reserved for salt-works.
  • n. In mining: The bottom of a shaft in which water is allowed to collect, in order that it may be pumped or otherwise raised to the surface or to the level of the adit. Also called in England, in some mining districts, a lodge.
  • n. A shaft connecting one level with another, but not reaching the surface; a winze.
  • n. A round pit of stone, lined with clay, for receiving metal on its first fusion.
  • n. In an electrolytic tank, a compartment separated from the rest by a low dividing-wall.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a well or other hole in which water has collected
  • n. a covered cistern; waste water and sewage flow into it
  • n. an oil reservoir in an internal combustion engine


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English sompe, marsh, from Middle Low German sump or from Middle Dutch somp. Sense 2, from German Sumpf, swamp, sump, from Middle High German, swamp.


  • Also, the sump was an above hole pump so it meant cutting the cap to fit the pipes in and sealing it with a couple of tubes of silicone.

    Projects You Shouldn’t Try To DIY | Lifehacker Australia

  • In the winter Francis had sat in the utility room downstairs, in the corner of the room called the sump area, a dugout rough and rusty looking, where the pipes all meet in vertical poles.

    Animals in Reverse

  • The car and all its parts are original - even the oil in the sump is the very same as from 20 years ago.


  • Any openings in the basement floor must also be sealed, such as sump baskets and bathtub drains.

    Reuben's Home Inspection Blog - Part 2

  • I was fine climbing into the lake up to chest level, and edging into the crevice leading to what was described to me as a "sump" (a short submerged passage) but what I hadn't realized was that getting into the sump required getting my body through a narrow space with not one but two projecting chert ridges.

    a day without a bruise is wasted.

  • There was some kind of sump here, or else the base of the tunnel had collapsed into a cavern.

    Sharpe's Escape

  • In the Eighties, they pushed through the first, 600ft flooded section or 'sump' to find new air space beneath a thundering waterfall.

    Home | Mail Online

  • Although radon can seep through concrete, homes that have any cracks or openings in the foundation such as sump pits or crawl spaces may be at higher risk.

    News from

  • He look des lack he'd los 'sump'n fer a day er so atter de ham wuz tuk off, en didn' 'pear ter know w'at ter do wid hisse'f; en fine'ly he up'n tuk'n tied a lightered-knot ter a string, en hid it under de flo 'er his cabin, en w'en nobody wuzn' lookin 'he'd take it out en hang it roun' his neck, en go off in de woods en holler en sing; en he allus tied it roun 'his neck w'en he went ter sleep.

    Dave's Neckliss

  • Generally speaking, people don’t like liars, fools, and thieves, so they sent the Republicans back to the drawing board, and George W. Bush to the ignorant sump which is called Texas.

    Sunday’s Breakfast Menu, Nov. 9 - The Caucus Blog -


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  • "Isaac's request swept through the slums and rookeries. It traveled the alternative architecture thrown up in the human sumps." From China Mieville's Perdido Street Station.

    October 1, 2011