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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


A place known for its great filth or corruption:
Slang: armpit.
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


[ˈsɛspuːl] nfosse f d'aisance
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


Senk- or Jauchegrube f, → Latrine f
(fig)Sumpf m; a cesspool of viceein Sündenpfuhl m
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
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.