cesspool

cesspool 1670s, the first element perhaps an alteration of CISTERN (Cf. cistern), perhaps an aphetic form of RECESS (Cf. recess); or the whole may be an alteration of suspiral (c.1400), "drainpipe," from O.Fr. sospiral "a vent, air hole," from sospirer "breathe," from L. suspirare "breathe deep." Meaning extended to "tank at the end of the pipe," which led to folk etymology change in final syllable. Other possible etymologies: It. cesso "privy," from L. secessus "place of retirement" (in L.L. "privy, drain"); dialectal suspool, from suss, soss "puddle;" or cess "a bog on the banks of a tidal river."

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cesspool — Cess pool ( p[=oo]l ), n. [See {Sesspol}.] A cistern in the course, or the termination, of a drain, to collect sedimentary or superfluous matter; a privy vault; any receptacle of filth. [Written also {sesspool}.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cesspool — ► NOUN ▪ an underground container for the temporary storage of liquid waste and sewage. ORIGIN probably from archaic suspiral «vent, water pipe, settling tank», from Old French souspirail air hole …   English terms dictionary

  • cesspool — [ses′po͞ol΄] n. [< ? It cesso, privy < L secessus, place of retirement (in LL, privy, drain): see SECEDE] 1. a deep hole or pit in the ground, usually covered, to receive drainage or sewage from the sinks, toilets, etc. of a house 2. a… …   English World dictionary

  • cesspool — [17] Cesspool has no direct etymological connection with pool. It comes from Old French suspirail ‘ventilator, breathing hole’, a derivative of souspirer ‘breathe’ (this goes back to Latin suspīrāre, source of the archaic English suspire ‘sigh’) …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • cesspool — UK [ˈsesˌpuːl] / US [ˈsesˌpul] noun [countable] Word forms cesspool : singular cesspool plural cesspools a cesspit …   English dictionary

  • cesspool — [17] Cesspool has no direct etymological connection with pool. It comes from Old French suspirail ‘ventilator, breathing hole’, a derivative of souspirer ‘breathe’ (this goes back to Latin suspīrāre, source of the archaic English suspire ‘sigh’) …   Word origins

  • cesspool — noun Etymology: perhaps by folk etymology from Middle English suspiral vent, tap on a main pipe, settling pool, from Anglo French, suspirale vent, from suspirer to sigh, exhale, from Latin suspirare, literally, to draw a long breath more at… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • cesspool — /ses poohl /, n. 1. a cistern, well, or pit for retaining the sediment of a drain or for receiving the sewage from a house. 2. any filthy receptacle or place. 3. any place of moral filth or immorality: a cesspool of iniquity. [1575 85; cess ( <… …   Universalium

  • cesspool — [[t]se̱spuːl[/t]] cesspools N COUNT A cesspool is the same as a cesspit …   English dictionary

  • cesspool — /ˈsɛspul / (say sespoohl) noun 1. a cistern, well, or pit for retaining the sediment of a drain or for receiving waste from a sewerage system, etc. 2. any filthy receptacle or place: a cesspool of iniquity. {alteration of cesperalle, from Old… …   Australian English dictionary

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