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A natural depression formed by the undermining or sudden collapse of the land surface, often as a result of groundwater enlarging cavities in underlying limestone or other easily soluble bedrock.


1. (Physical Geography) Also called (esp Brit): swallow hole a depression in the ground surface, esp in limestone, where a surface stream disappears underground
2. a place into which foul matter runs



1. a hole formed in soluble rock by the action of water, serving to conduct surface water underground.
2. a depressed area in which waste or drainage collects.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.sinkhole - a depression in the ground communicating with a subterranean passage (especially in limestone) and formed by solution or by collapse of a cavern roofsinkhole - a depression in the ground communicating with a subterranean passage (especially in limestone) and formed by solution or by collapse of a cavern roof
natural depression, depression - a sunken or depressed geological formation


An area sunk below its surroundings:
References in periodicals archive ?
DRIVERS have been advised to avoid a major Liverpool road after a sinkhole opened up and caused a gas leak in the area.
A gas leak has also been reported in the area after a smell of gas began circulating the air and staff from Cadent Gas are currently taking gas readings from the sinkhole to determine the cause of the leak.
Musfur Sinkhole is the largest known of the still accessible sinkhole caves in Qatar, which is relatively easy to reach and explore.
A VILLAGE front street was closed to drivers after a 3.5m-deep sinkhole opened up in the road.
A lube shop's lawsuit against a Virginia county over an obstructive sinkhole is going forward, even though the county claimed the business lacks the standing to sue.
The sinkhole discovered along the southbound direction of Roxas Boulevard in Manila has been cemented on Friday morning, an official of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said.
According to ( local media , the two were taken to a nearby hospital and discharged after being treated for some minor injuries. The area was sealed off and the police and fire department were investigating why the sinkhole opened up.
The mining company is probing subsidence where the sinkhole opened when the roof of an old mine collapsed and have examined two square kilometres of ground.
A CAR fell into a sinkhole in a Welsh castle's car park.
Mr Davies, from Coelbren, Powys, said the manager attached a rope to his truck and to the car to stop it from going any further as, below the car, the sinkhole was 18 to 20ft in the deepest part.
The 30-year-old said his mum - who works in the castle - had left the car in the car park in the morning and that not long before she was due to finish work at around 4pm she found out about the sinkhole.