9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[suhmp] /sʌmp/
a pit, well, or the like in which water or other liquid is collected.
Machinery. a chamber at the bottom of a machine, pump, circulation system, etc., into which a fluid drains before recirculation or in which wastes gather before disposal.
  1. a space where water is allowed to collect at the bottom of a shaft or below a passageway.
  2. a pilot shaft or tunnel pushed out in front of a main bore.
British, crankcase.
British Dialect. a swamp, bog, or muddy pool.
Origin of sump
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English sompe < Middle Low German or Middle Dutch sump; cognate with German Sumpf; akin to swamp Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sump
  • Flowing water was rare, and each afternoon they searched urgently for some drink-able sump beside which to camp.
  • During operations, the pit would act as a sump, drawing groundwater into it.
  • Examine your sump pump and check that it is in good condition and clear of debris by filling the sump pit and running the pump.
  • She thinks the dogs were drinking water out of a sump pump or toilet to stay alive.
  • The plan currently offers a lump sump payment option.
  • In the past, sump pumps and downspouts were connected to the sanitary sewer system.
  • Water operated sump pumps are installed to work when the electric sump pump fails.
  • The sump shall be made of steel-reinforced concrete.
British Dictionary definitions for sump


a receptacle, such as the lower part of the crankcase of an internal-combustion engine, into which liquids, esp lubricants, can drain to form a reservoir
another name for cesspool
  1. a depression at the bottom of a shaft where water collects before it is pumped away
  2. the front portion of a shaft or tunnel, ahead of the main bore
(Brit, dialect) a muddy pool or swamp
Word Origin
C17: from Middle Dutch somp marsh; see swamp
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 sump

early 15c., "marsh, morass," from Middle Dutch somp or Middle Low German sump, from Proto-Germanic *sumpaz. Meaning "pit to collect water" is first found 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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