Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


1. A covered hole or pit for receiving drainage or sewage, as from a house.
2. A filthy, disgusting, or morally corrupt place.

[Perhaps alteration (influenced by pool) of obsolete cesperalle, drainpipe, from Middle English suspiral, vent, from Old French sospirail, breathing hole, from souspirer, to breathe, from Latin suspīrāre, to sigh; see suspire.]


(ˈsɛsˌpuːl) or


1. (Building) Also called: sink or sump a covered cistern, etc, for collecting and storing sewage or waste water
2. a filthy or corrupt place: a cesspool of iniquity.
[C17: changed (through influence of pool1) from earlier cesperalle, from Old French souspirail vent, air, from soupirer to sigh; see suspire]



1. a reservoir for the sediment of a drain or for receiving the sewage from a house.
2. a place of filth or immorality.
[1575–85; cess (< Italian cesso privy < Latin rēcessus recess]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.cesspool - a covered cistern; waste water and sewage flow into it
cistern - an artificial reservoir for storing liquids; especially an underground tank for storing rainwater


A place known for its great filth or corruption:
Slang: armpit.


[ˈsɛspuːl] nfosse f d'aisance


Senk- or Jauchegrube f, → Latrine f
(fig)Sumpf m; a cesspool of viceein Sündenpfuhl m
References in classic literature ?
And tell me, please, what do you find so shameful even in cesspools? I should be the first to be ready to clean out any cesspool you like.
The "cesspool question" had already been a subject of dispute between them.
Under such circumstances, I naturally gravitated to London, that great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained.
Their children were not as well as they had been at home; but how could they know that there was no sewer to their house, and that the drainage of fifteen years was in a cesspool under it?
To tell the whole, however, she also felt, from time to time, in that cesspool of mire and darkness, something cold passing over her foot or her arm, and she shuddered.
Your plate was stowed away among the neighbouring cesspools, and evil communications corrupted its good polish in a day or two.
To see moral grandeur rising out of cesspools of iniquity; to rise himself and first glimpse beauty, faint and far, through mud- dripping eyes; to see out of weakness, and frailty, and viciousness, and all abysmal brutishness, arising strength, and truth, and high spiritual endowment -
Alleys and archways, like so many cesspools, disgorged their offences of smell, and dirt, and life, upon the straggling streets; and the whole quarter reeked with crime, with filth, and misery.
Several cellar spaces with a sewer and a cesspool were left over from the early 17th century.
Q Three houses in our row share a cesspool in one of the gardens.
Picture of the cesspool inside the Benovr school, where the child passed away CAIRO -- 15 April 2019: A court in Egypt's Gharbia sentenced the headmaster of Bnovr School for Basic Education to two years in prison and a bail of LE 10,000 ($579), over "gross negligence," that led to the death of a student.
The move came days after President Rodrigo Duterte called Boracay a 'cesspool' and threatened to shut the island down.