hu·​mus | \ ˈhyü-məs How to pronounce humus (audio) , ˈyü-\

Definition of humus

geology : a brown or black complex variable material resulting from partial decomposition of plant or animal matter and forming the organic (see organic entry 1 sense 1a(2)) portion of soil

Examples of humus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

There, the waste is heated in aerated piles, returned to humus, tested for contaminants and sold to the public for $23 a cubic yard. Mike Klingaman,, "How a Columbia gardener turns his tiny plot into a full-fledged feast," 4 June 2019 For blueberries to thrive, the soil must be well aerated, moist, very high in humus, and—most important of all—very acidic. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "Your Guide To Growing The Most Delicious Blueberries," 14 Mar. 2017 There was SeattleMan23 who liked Hüsker Dü and humus. Tara Conklin, Vogue, "After Divorce, Floating Another Chance at Love," 6 Feb. 2019 Learn more about growing these versatile shade garden plants: How to Grow Hostas Plant hostas in evenly moist, humus-rich soil in light to full shade. Kris Wetherbee, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow the Most Stunning Hostas," 7 Aug. 2018 All these problems are caused by fungi in the soil and can be avoided by rotating crops and by working humus into the onion bed to provide good drainage. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow Onions," 1 Feb. 2018 Any organic material and/or humus added to the soil helps retain that moisture, but mulch is a visible conservator. Margaret Lauterbach, idahostatesman, "With drought always a threat, we all need to learn our water lessons," 16 June 2018 Volunteers are on hand so drivers can pull up, place an order, pay and volunteers will bag and load the humus in your car. Carol Kovach,, "Chilly, soggy weather didn't stop Keep Lakewood Beautiful volunteers from sprucing up the city," 29 Apr. 2018 The discussion about detritivores, which process waste material into soil by way of their own humus-like waste material. David Gilbert, The New Yorker, "Fungus," 4 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'humus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of humus

1796, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for humus

New Latin, from Latin, earth — more at humble

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Statistics for humus

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for humus

The first known use of humus was in 1796

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English Language Learners Definition of humus

: a brown or black material in soil that is formed when plants and animals decay


hu·​mus | \ ˈhyü-məs How to pronounce humus (audio) , ˈyü-\

Kids Definition of humus

: the dark rich part of earth formed from decaying plant or animal material


hu·​mus | \ ˈhyü-məs How to pronounce humus (audio) , ˈyü- How to pronounce humus (audio) \

Medical Definition of humus

: a brown or black complex variable material resulting from partial decomposition of plant or animal matter and forming the organic portion of soil

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More from Merriam-Webster on humus

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with humus

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for humus

Spanish Central: Translation of humus

Nglish: Translation of humus for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about humus

Comments on humus

What made you want to look up humus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make a temporary encampment

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