Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, 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 ?
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.
Under such circumstances, I naturally gravitated to London, that great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained.
I should be the first to be ready to clean out any cesspool you like.
Your plate was stowed away among the neighbouring cesspools, and evil communications corrupted its good polish in a day or two.
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.
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 -
McGowan's Retreat" tells the story of Shelly Martin and Davis McGowan, who are slowly dragged into a corporate cesspool where ethics are an afterthought at best.
THE predictable product of a cesspool of envy, jealousy, malice, hatred and intrigue" springs to mind
Septage is the liquid and solid material pumped from a septic tank, cesspool or other primary treatment source.
Istanbul, Dec 29 (ANI): Construction of a cesspool at the house in a village in Turkey has led to the accidental discovery of two ancient graves, dating back to the 7th century B.
An overflowing cesspool, which caused toilet and kitchen waste to drain on to a nearby golf course, cost Mohammed Razzaq, owner of The Shezan Restaurant in Lea Marston, a fine of pounds 730.