night soil


: human feces used especially for fertilizing the soil

Examples of night soil in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This strategy became necessary after an errant tomato plant sprouted from a visitor's night soil back in the 1960s. Amy Brady, Scientific American, 17 Oct. 2023 For millennia, people collected these precious substances—often in the wee hours, giving rise to the term night soil—and used them to grow food. Julia Rosen, The Atlantic, 8 Feb. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'night soil.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1721, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of night soil was in 1721

Dictionary Entries Near night soil

Cite this Entry

“Night soil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

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