sed·​i·​ment | \ ˈse-də-mənt How to pronounce sediment (audio) \

Definition of sediment

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the matter that settles to the bottom of a liquid
2 : material deposited by water, wind, or glaciers


sed·​i·​ment | \ ˈse-də-ˌment How to pronounce sediment (audio) \
sedimented; sedimenting; sediments

Definition of sediment (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to deposit as sediment

intransitive verb

1 : to settle to the bottom in a liquid
2 : to deposit sediment

Synonyms & Antonyms for sediment

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of sediment in a Sentence

Noun There was a layer of sediment in the bottom of the tank. the sediment at the bottom of the river needs to be routinely dredged so that it doesn't interfere with barge traffic Verb the water flowing into the reservoir is sedimenting silt faster than was originally expected
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And younger flowstone can sometimes be found mixed in with old sediment. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 28 June 2022 The project is designed to strengthen over time as vegetation grows and natural areas fill with sediment — thus improving the resilience of Furnace Run while protecting the road and bridge. Megan Becka, cleveland, 5 Nov. 2021 The entire site is vacant land covered with sediment dredged from the lagoon in the early 1970s. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Oct. 2021 Water and sediment from the river rapidly mixed with falling debris, creating ideal conditions for a mass fossil-preserving burial event, reports the Telegraph's Sarah Knapton. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Apr. 2022 The prints are visible today because they were made on a muddy sandbar and buried with water and sediment. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 4 Apr. 2022 What was left of the river was encased in a flood-control channel, its sloping sides lined with soil-cement, and the riverbed was periodically bulldozed to remove sediment and maintain its flood-catching capacity. Ian James,, 8 Sep. 2021 Starting last year, the county began dredging efforts to remove sediment and help water move in the manner it's supposed to during heavy rains. Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 14 Aug. 2021 In July, Murphy secured $688,000 in a U.S. House funding bill to help remove sediment, recontour the river and replant the surrounding basin with beneficial native plants. Martin E. Comas,, 11 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The team observed the octopuses launch objects and sediment several body lengths away. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Sep. 2021 The cores, presented here today at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, were captured at the farthest extent of the ash’s reach, recorded as wisps of tephra in finely sedimented, ancient mud uplifted near the ocean floor. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, 25 Oct. 2017 See More

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

First Known Use of sediment


1547, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1859, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for sediment


Latin sedimentum settling, from sedēre to sit, sink down

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Time Traveler for sediment

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The first known use of sediment was in 1547

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Statistics for sediment

Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sediment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for sediment


sed·​i·​ment | \ ˈse-də-mənt How to pronounce sediment (audio) \

Kids Definition of sediment

1 : the material from a liquid that settles to the bottom
2 : material (as stones and sand) carried onto land or into water by water, wind, or a glacier


sed·​i·​ment | \ ˈsed-ə-mənt How to pronounce sediment (audio) \

Medical Definition of sediment

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the matter that settles to the bottom of a liquid


transitive verb
sed·​i·​ment | \ -ˌment How to pronounce sediment (audio) \

Medical Definition of sediment (Entry 2 of 2)

: to deposit as sediment the synaptosomes were sedimented by centrifugation

intransitive verb

1 : to settle to the bottom in a liquid let the red blood cells sediment for 30 minutes
2 : to deposit sediment

More from Merriam-Webster on sediment

Nglish: Translation of sediment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sediment for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about sediment


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