Definitions

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

  • intransitive v. To pass slowly through small openings or pores; ooze.
  • intransitive v. To enter, depart, or become diffused gradually.
  • n. A spot where water or petroleum trickles out of the ground to form a pool.
  • n. Seepage.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a small spring, pool, or other place where liquid from the ground (e.g. water, petroleum or tar) has oozed to the surface
  • n. moisture that seeps out; a seepage
  • v. to ooze, or pass slowly through pores or other small openings

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To run or soak through fine pores and interstices; to ooze.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To ooze or percolate gently; flow gently or drippingly through pores; trickle.
  • To drain off: said of any wet thing laid on a grating or the like to drain: as, let it seep there.
  • n. A small exudation of ground-water; a small spring.

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

  • v. pass gradually or leak through or as if through small openings

Etymologies

Alteration of dialectal sipe.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Variant of sipe, from Middle English sipen, from Old English sipian, from Proto-Germanic *sīpōnan, frequentative of *sīpanan (compare Middle Dutch sīpen 'to drip', archaic German seifen 'to trickle blood'), from Proto-Indo-European *seib, *sib- 'to pour out, drip, trickle' (compare Latin sēbum 'suet, tallow', Ancient Greek εἴβω (eíbō) 'to drop, drip'). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • He paused again, letting the name seep into the minds of those assembled and waiting for the general reaction.

    Doors Into Chaos

  • One long hot breath followed by another causes clouds to seep from the bell.

    Johnny Mercer's Pier

  • As he climbed to a higher altitude, the chemical continued to seep from the plane.

    mjh's blog — 2008 — March

  • Not until the late '70s, however, did the phrase seep into the American cooking vocabulary.

    StarTribune.com rss feed

  • A young woman sitting next to me was confused by the word seep and wanted to know whether it was spelled 'sepe' or 'seap', but to those who are at least as smart as a fifth grader, it spells bad news.

    The Reaction

  • There are fragments of memory that seep from the short-term memory cache to the long-term memory in the recovery room as the drug wears off.

    Brad Ideas - Comments

  • With Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce in crisis -- yes, Roger really did do nothing about the impending loss of Lucky Strike and the ever odious Lee Garner Jr. really did let word seep out sooner than his promised 30 days -- Peggy performs well by giving her previously scheduled pitch on a campaign for one of Playtex's female products.

    William Bradley: Mad Men : Breach One "Chinese Wall" and You Just Want To Breach Another One An Hour Later

  • With Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce in crisis -- yes, Roger really did do nothing about the impending loss of Lucky Strike and the ever-odious Lee Garner Jr. really did let word seep out sooner than his promised 30 days -- Peggy performs well by giving her previously scheduled pitch on a campaign for one of Playtex's female products.

    William Bradley: Mad Men : Breach One 'Chinese Wall' and You Just Want to Breach Another One an Hour Later

  • He looks toward the bedroom door as he says this, as if the word will seep through the crack under the door for Jennifer to hear.

    The Fortunes of Indigo Skye

  • Essentially, while there is major concern over off-shore drilling where rules are not adequately enforced as in the Gulf, nothing is being done about the natural seep, which is far worse.

    The Daily Times News Headlines

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Comments

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  • a small spring, pool, or other place where liquid from the ground has oozed to the surface of the earth

    April 30, 2007