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

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 In addition to operating intercontinental ballistic missile silos, the North Dakota base is home to the B-52 Stratofortress, the long-range heavy bomber capable of flying at high subsonic speeds and dropping nuclear warheads on enemy targets. Paul Sonne, Washington Post, "Air Force base that lost explosives: We’re also missing a machine gun," 18 May 2018 Outside, there’s a grain silo painted with an angry raccoon. Elizabeth Dunn, WSJ, "A Stress-Free Summer Weekend in the Catskills," 15 June 2018 After 100 hours of work, the student engineered a 3-D printed, five-pound model of an automatic shellfish upwelling process, or a silo cleaner., "Tea by the sea, Korean peace medals, and $2,000 to fight hunger," 13 July 2018 Leaders should stop working in silos; instead, leaders should be silo-busters. charlotteobserver, "Ashley Christensen," 3 July 2018 Buffalo RiverWorks is a recreational complex occupying several structures of a former grain-milling facility along the Buffalo River, including old grain silos that now have 35-, 40- and 50-foot climbing walls, both inside and outside. Amy Thomas, New York Times, "36 Hours in Buffalo," 28 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of silo

1856, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for silo


Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about silo

Statistics for silo

Last Updated

20 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for silo

The first known use of silo was in 1856

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


to reject or criticize sharply

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!