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[singk-hohl] /ˈsɪŋkˌhoʊl/
a hole formed in soluble rock by the action of water, serving to conduct surface water to an underground passage.
Also called sink. a depressed area in which waste or drainage collects.
Origin of sinkhole
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English; see sink, hole Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sinkhole
  • The single larger room is off-limits because of a giant sinkhole in the floor.
  • Rappel into a sinkhole, swim in a subterranean river and watch out for bats and cave scorpions.
  • His eloquence is all the more remarkable because migraines are a sinkhole for language.
  • These factors make understanding sensitive sinkhole ecosystems an urgent necessity.
  • For years, dirt fill has been periodically brought to an actively subsiding sinkhole on the east side of the park's boat ramp.
  • The dewatering activities will not cause a sinkhole to form.
  • When too much rock dissolves, the cave's ceiling collapses and a sinkhole appears.
  • Following a flood, the restaurant collapsed into a sinkhole, suffering a total loss.
  • The side of the sinkhole was bordered by a tobacco patch and was the route he chose to take on the day of the incident.
  • Because they are largely impermeable, many sinkhole wetlands store rainwater long into the drier seasons.
British Dictionary definitions for sinkhole


Also called (esp Brit) swallow hole. a depression in the ground surface, esp in limestone, where a surface stream disappears underground
a place into which foul matter runs
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 sinkhole

also sink-hole, mid-15c., "sewage pit," from sink (n.) + hole (n.). As a geological phenomenon, "hole made in the earth in limestone regions by underground erosion," 1780, from sink (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sinkhole in Science
A natural depression in a land surface formed by the dissolution and collapse of a cavern roof. Sinkholes are roughly funnel-shaped and on the order of tens of meters in size. They generally occur in limestone regions and are connected to subteranean passages. Also called sink. See more at karst topography.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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