Definition of seep in English:



  • (of a liquid) flow or leak slowly through porous material or small holes.

    ‘water began to seep through the soles of his boots’
    • ‘When you remove the ring after completing the layering you'll have a pretty pool of green oil seeping out from the edge.’
    • ‘Blood was slowly seeping out of his body.’
    • ‘Her television and video exploded last week as water seeped into the house.’
    • ‘He later realised liquid was seeping from her mouth, and called an ambulance at about 3pm.’
    • ‘He couldn't even sense the cold and wetness seeping through his clothes.’
    • ‘Water seeped from ruptured pipes and corrugated iron dangled from the roofs of the damaged shops.’
    • ‘Blood had seeped through the makeshift bandage, soaking it through.’
    • ‘Water is said to be seeping into the basement and the foundation may well be threatened.’
    • ‘Water was seeping through the crack in the windshield.’
    • ‘As the mist seeped back into the ground, the rest of the house slowly returned to normal.’
    • ‘Water seeped into her knee-high boots, and completely soaked her socks.’
    • ‘The water seeped into the main bar area, covering about a 10 metre square space.’
    • ‘I have lived in rented accommodation where we welcomed the rain seeping through the ceiling because it discouraged the rats.’
    • ‘Water seeped into deep holes he dug, enough to quench thirst for another few days.’
    • ‘Oil has seeped into the water table, and air pollution is a serious problem.’
    • ‘A popular tourist attraction at Mistley has been damaged by water seeping into the walls.’
    • ‘There was a large area of pinkish wet seeping through the bandage.’
    • ‘He knew he was bleeding by the wetness seeping down his leg, but he lacked the will to check out his injury.’
    • ‘Water seeping into exposed pores allows for frost action.’
    • ‘Lee got irritated as she saw blood seeping out of a gash on her hand.’
    ooze, trickle, exude, drip, dribble, flow, issue, discharge, excrete, escape, leak, drain, bleed, sweat, well, leach, filter, percolate, permeate, soak
    filtrate, transude, exudate
    View synonyms


North american
  • A place where petroleum or water oozes slowly out of the ground.

    • ‘Indeed, nearly all oil in seawater traces to natural seeps or to human activities creating diffuse releases.’
    • ‘So far the oil from the birds has matched, but that oil has not matched any known natural seeps or other reported incidents.’
    • ‘A lone cottonwood on the plains might mark a hillside seep or a spot where the water table was within digging distance.’
    • ‘On the continents seeps create brine pools, mud volcanoes and other local features.’
    • ‘They breed in alpine areas, near seeps, streams, lakes, or wet meadows.’
    • ‘Some creeks or river reaches are fed by springs or groundwater seeps.’
    • ‘In seeps where the water supply is low, burros can consume the entire amounts.’
    • ‘The valley's boggy areas, seeps, and ponderosa-pine forests are home to more than 500 kinds of plants.’
    • ‘There was evidence of intermittent spring seeps and seasonal streams nearby.’
    • ‘Subterranean species are difficult to monitor since they appear seasonally and sporadically in seeps and springs or may not appear even during high water flows.’
    • ‘Underwater seeps in the Santa Barbara Channel and Santa Monica Bay have deposited tar over area beaches.’
    • ‘Natural hydrocarbon seeps are another local pollution hazard.’
    • ‘As you drive west toward the coast, seeps and springs in the ravines form small braided waterfalls, full of their own monsoon song.’
    • ‘The wetlands, its seeps and its marshes are jealousy maintained and protected from all disturbance.’
    • ‘The stable isotope composition of the first and second stages of the worm tube carbonates is similar to that of carbonates from modern petroleum seeps.’
    • ‘Crystal Bench is a wet meadow below a series of small seeps feeding an intermittent stream that is usually dry by August.’


Late 18th century: perhaps a dialect form of Old English sīpian ‘to soak’.