si·​lo | \ˈsī-(ˌ)lō \
plural silos

Definition of silo 

1 : a trench, pit, or especially a tall cylinder (as of wood or concrete) usually sealed to exclude air and used for making and storing silage

2a : a deep bin for storing material (such as coal)

b : an underground structure for housing a guided missile

Illustration of silo

Illustration of silo

silo 1

Examples of silo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Quinn inherits Hiestand’s silo, which is anything but empty. John Fineran, The Seattle Times, "New assistant reshapes Irish offensive line, running game," 7 Aug. 2018 As the sound of pounding metal echoed through the cavernous plant, machines sliced steel into customized shapes — arms for earth movers destined for the United States, silos to hold wind turbines, decks of cargo ships. Peter S. Goodman, New York Times, "Italy’s Economy Was Humming Nicely. Then Came Trump.," 22 June 2018 Above the church, cliffs, hollowed out like a beehive, served as Incan grain silos. Finn-olaf Jones, WSJ, "A Surprisingly Kid-Friendly Vacation to Peru’s Sacred Valley," 7 June 2018 Same for the brite tank (used to hold beer after fermentation), the new whirlpool system and the giant grain silo. Kathy Flanigan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Third Space Brewing adds more equipment and expects to double its beer production," 4 June 2018 But Christoph Kaiser and Shauna Thibault, from Phoenix, Arizona, are taking things to the extreme, calling a 366-square-foot grain silo home. Samantha Brodsky, Country Living, "These Newlyweds Live In a 366-Square-Foot Grain Silo," 8 Aug. 2016 The rusted silos are infested with mosquitoes; there’s no grain inside or livestock nearby., "Prisonville, Texas, Hopes to Reboot Its Economy on the Back of Trump’s Immigration Crackdown," 28 June 2018 The kids' ragged breathing — boosted by the silo's natural echo effect — makes this set piece feel like the most sophisticated one in the film (just from a sound design perspective). Simon Abrams, The Hollywood Reporter, "Did 'A Quiet Place' Take Enough Risks?," 16 Apr. 2018 Talk about a dangerous silo: Isn’t learning to think for oneself a big part of the reason people go to college? Molly Glentzer, Houston Chronicle, "Art Daybook: ‘Coyataje (La Migra)’," 23 May 2018

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

1856, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for silo


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Statistics for silo

Last Updated

17 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for silo

The first known use of silo was in 1856

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More Definitions for silo



English Language Learners Definition of silo

: a tower that is used to store food (such as grain or grass) for farm animals

: an underground structure that is used for storing and firing a missile


si·​lo | \ˈsī-lō \
plural silos

Kids Definition of silo

: a covered trench, pit, or especially a tall round building in which silage is made and stored

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More from Merriam-Webster on silo

Spanish Central: Translation of silo

Nglish: Translation of silo for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on silo

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


a nest or breeding place

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