regolith

noun
reg·​o·​lith | \ ˈre-gə-ˌlith \

Definition of regolith

: unconsolidated residual or transported material that overlies the solid rock on the earth, moon, or a planet

Examples of regolith in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Even now robotic bulldozers and dump trucks were at work trundling more regolith onto the building across the way. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Read an excerpt from Kim Stanley Robinson’s next book," 18 Oct. 2018 The contact pushes springs that trigger a blast of nitrogen gas that stirs up pieces of the regolith. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Meet the Spacecraft That's About to Play Tag with an Asteroid," 16 Nov. 2018 Aside from bringing along an extra crop or two—say, some salad greens—he'd grow the plants using hydroponics instead of Martian soil, or regolith, as Watney does. Michael Belfiore, Popular Mechanics, "Can You Actually Grow Potatoes on Mars?," 28 Sep. 2015 The writing's on the regolith: NASA wants private companies to start flying the agency's science instruments to the moon. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Private Companies Took Over Rocket Launches. Can They Do the Same For Moon Landers?," 1 May 2018 The operational Mars base upon completion, where an exterior regolith shell acts as the base’s protective covering. NBC News, "Here's what future Mars and lunar space colonies could look like," 7 July 2018 Several small robots fuse regolith, or loose rocks and soil on Mars, into concrete, which acts as the building material for the habitat’s protective exterior shell. NBC News, "Here's what future Mars and lunar space colonies could look like," 7 July 2018 On one hand, the containers used during the Apollo program were a reasonable attempt to preserve many characteristics of the lunar regolith. Leonard David, Scientific American, "Should We Open Some Sealed Moon Samples?," 5 Mar. 2018 The spacecraft will then fly in low and use its Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) to shoot a burst of nitrogen gas that will blow sample regolith material up into a collection vessel on a robotic arm. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "15 Air and Space Missions We're Excited for In 2018," 5 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'regolith.' 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 regolith

1897, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for regolith

Greek rhēgos blanket + English -lith; akin to Greek rhezein to dye — more at raga

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Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for regolith

The first known use of regolith was in 1897

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More from Merriam-Webster on regolith

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about regolith

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