noun \ˈsilt\

: sand, soil, mud, etc., that is carried by flowing water and that sinks to the bottom of a river, pond, etc.

Full Definition of SILT

:  loose sedimentary material with rock particles usually 120 millimeter or less in diameter; also :  soil containing 80 percent or more of such silt and less than 12 percent of clay
:  a deposit of sediment (as by a river)
silty \ˈsil-tē\ adjective

Origin of SILT

Middle English cylte, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian dialect sylt beach flooded at high tide; akin to Old High German sulza salt marsh, Old English sealt salt
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Geology Terms

anthracite, boulder, cwm, erratic, igneous, intrusive, mesa, sedimentary, swale

Rhymes with SILT



: to become blocked, filled, or covered with silt

: to block, fill, or cover (something) with silt

Full Definition of SILT

intransitive verb
:  to become choked or obstructed with silt —often used with up <the channel silted up>
transitive verb
:  to choke, fill, cover, or obstruct with silt or mud
sil·ta·tion \sil-ˈtā-shən\ noun

Examples of SILT

  1. The entrance to the creek had silted shut.

First Known Use of SILT


Other Geology Terms

anthracite, boulder, cwm, erratic, igneous, intrusive, mesa, sedimentary, silt, swale


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Sediment particles 0.00016–0.0024 in. (0.004–0.06 mm) in diameter, regardless of mineral type. Silt is easily transported by moving currents but settles in still water. An unconsolidated aggregate of silt particles is also called silt, whereas a consolidated aggregate is called siltstone. Silt deposits formed by wind are known as loess. Sediments are seldom composed entirely of silt but rather are a mixture of clay, silt, and sand. Clay-rich silt, upon consolidation, frequently develops parting along bedding surfaces and is then called shale. If parting does not develop, the massive rock is called mudstone.


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