9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ses-pool] /ˈsɛsˌpul/
a cistern, well, or pit for retaining the sediment of a drain or for receiving the sewage from a house.
any filthy receptacle or place.
any place of moral filth or immorality:
a cesspool of iniquity.
Origin of cesspool
1575-85; cess (< Italian cesso privy < Latin rēcessus recess, place of retirement) + pool1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cesspool
  • The judicial system has nothing to do with why family law is universally considered a cesspool practice area.
  • Yes, he had been warned about his cesspool of an office.
  • The sooner we're out of that wretched cesspool of continental inefficiency the better.
  • However, the country is not the cesspool that this magazine makes it out to be week after week.
  • It's not much of a life revelling inside a clogged cesspool.
  • Time to move on while the stray dogs filled with inferiority complex bark pointlessly and the forum degenerates into a cesspool.
  • Objects were unearthed from backyards, fished out of a cesspool, recovered in pre-dawn raids.
  • Any cesspool used at one of these facilities must be closed.
  • The cesspool was lined with cinder blocks, and had a concrete cover.
  • In older homes, a septic system may be a pipe leading from the house to a cesspool.
British Dictionary definitions for cesspool


Also called sink, sump. a covered cistern, etc, for collecting and storing sewage or waste water
a filthy or corrupt place: a cesspool of iniquity
Word Origin
C17: changed (through influence of pool1) from earlier cesperalle, from Old French souspirail vent, air, from soupirer to sigh; see suspire
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
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Word Origin and History for cesspool

also cess-pool, 1670s, the first element perhaps an alteration of cistern, perhaps a shortened form of recess [Klein]; or the whole may be an alteration of suspiral (c.1400), "drainpipe," from Old French sospiral "a vent, air hole," from sospirer "breathe," from Latin suspirare "breathe deep" [Barnhart]. Meaning extended to "tank at the end of the pipe," which would account for a possible folk-etymology change in final syllable.

Other possible etymologies: Italian cesso "privy," from Latin secessus "place of retirement" (in Late Latin "privy, drain"); dialectal suspool, from suss, soss "puddle;" or cess "a bog on the banks of a tidal river."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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