Swamp (?), n. [Cf. AS. swam a fungus, OD. swam a sponge, D. zwam a fungus, G. schwamm a sponge, Icel. svoppr, Dan. & Sw. swamp, Goth. swamms, Gr. somfo`s porous, spongy.]

Wet, spongy land; soft, low ground saturated with water, but not usually covered with it; marshy ground away from the seashore.

Gray swamps and pools, waste places of the hern. Tennyson.

A swamp differs from a bog and a marsh in producing trees and shrubs, while the latter produce only herbage, plants, and mosses. Farming Encyc. (E. Edwards, Words).

Swamp blackbird. Zool. See Redwing (b). -- Swamp cabbage Bot., skunk cabbage. -- Swamp deer Zool., an Asiatic deer (Rucervus Duvaucelli) of India. -- Swamp hen. Zool. (a) An Australian azure-breasted bird (Porphyrio bellus); -- called also goollema. (b) An Australian water crake, or rail (Porzana Tabuensis); -- called also little swamp hen. (c) The European purple gallinule. -- Swamp honeysuckle Bot., an American shrub (Azalea, ∨ Rhododendron, viscosa) growing in swampy places, with fragrant flowers of a white color, or white tinged with rose; -- called also swamp pink. -- Swamp hook, a hook and chain used by lumbermen in handling logs. Cf. Cant hook. -- Swamp itch. Med. See Prairie itch, under Prairie. -- Swamp laurel Bot., a shrub (Kalmia glauca) having small leaves with the lower surface glaucous. -- Swamp maple Bot., red maple. See Maple. -- Swamp oak Bot., a name given to several kinds of oak which grow in swampy places, as swamp Spanish oak (Quercus palustris), swamp white oak (Q. bicolor), swamp post oak (Q. lyrata). -- Swamp ore (Min.), big ore; limonite. -- Swamp partridge Zool., any one of several Australian game birds of the genera Synoicus and Excalfatoria, allied to the European partridges. -- Swamp robin Zool., the chewink. -- Swamp sassafras Bot., a small North American tree of the genus Magnolia (M. glauca) with aromatic leaves and fragrant creamy-white blossoms; -- called also sweet bay. -- Swamp sparrow Zool., a common North American sparrow (Melospiza Georgiana, or M. palustris), closely resembling the song sparrow. It lives in low, swampy places. -- Swamp willow. Bot. See Pussy willow, under Pussy.


© Webster 1913.

Swamp (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Swamped (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Swamping.]


To plunge or sink into a swamp.

2. Naut.

To cause (a boat) to become filled with water; to capsize or sink by whelming with water.


Fig.: To plunge into difficulties and perils; to overwhelm; to ruin; to wreck.

The Whig majority of the house of Lords was swamped by the creation of twelve Tory peers. J. R. Green.

Having swamped himself in following the ignis fatuus of a theory. Sir W. Hamilton.


© Webster 1913.

Swamp, v. i.


To sink or stick in a swamp; figuratively, to become involved in insuperable difficulties.


To become filled with water, as a boat; to founder; to capsize or sink; figuratively, to be ruined; to be wrecked.


© Webster 1913.

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