silt

noun
\ˈsilt \

Definition of silt 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : loose sedimentary material with rock particles usually ¹/₂₀ millimeter or less in diameter also : soil containing 80 percent or more of such silt and less than 12 percent of clay

2 : a deposit of sediment (as by a river)

silt

verb
silted; silting; silts

Definition of silt (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to become choked or obstructed with silt often used with up the channel silted up

transitive verb

: to choke, fill, cover, or obstruct with silt or mud

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Other Words from silt

Noun

silty \ ˈsil-​tē \ adjective

Verb

siltation \ sil-​ˈtā-​shən \ noun

Examples of silt in a Sentence

Verb

The entrance to the creek had silted shut.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This geologic formation contains rocks made of mostly sand, silt and clays that were deposited when eastern Maryland was a flat coastal plain, in the early Cretaceous. Sarah Kaplan, Washington Post, "Fossil hunting 101: Lessons from a self-taught dinosaur tracker," 16 June 2018 Dams and rocks placed along the Mississippi River to prevent erosion of the banks have robbed the river of the sand, silt and clay that once built the Mississippi River Delta. Sara Sneath, NOLA.com, "Plastic bottles you recycle at Jazz Fest won't curb coastal erosion, contractor says," 27 Apr. 2018 The Bangladeshi government is making plans to relocate 100,000 refugees to a low-lying, uninhabited silt island by August. Vidhi Doshi, Washington Post, "‘Everything was destroyed’: Monsoon begins to take deadly toll on Rohingya camps in Bangladesh," 24 June 2018 All of the rivers of the world flush millions of acre feet of mud and silt into the sea floor daily. Kristina Dahl, WSJ, "Water’s Rising Because It’s Getting Warmer," 22 May 2018 Noxon believes the primary culprit could be the millions of pounds of sand and silt have displaced the water, causing it to rise faster. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "Trinity River changed by Hurricane Harvey," 22 May 2018 Ledford plans to pave only the roads running through the wildlife center in a bid to keep silt from trickling into nearby streams. Leslie Nemo, Scientific American, "From Defiled to Wild—Can a Spent Coal Mine Be Reborn as a Nature Conservation Center?," 11 July 2018 The plane's recovery was complicated by the fact that the plane crashed in an area of silt-laden water with a strong tidal pull. Laurel Andrews, Anchorage Daily News, "First findings released in Susitna River fatal midair plane collision," 22 June 2018 Indeed, homeowners groups in the Tower Lakes area of southwest Lake County have already spent nearly a half-million dollars to dredge silt from the lake, whose depth has gone from several feet to several inches in some places. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "Volunteers, officials, consultants share strategies for healthy lakes," 15 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Meanwhile, Fort Bend County Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers said crews have de-silted the channel at the north end of the county except for the portion on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) property. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "Officials look for solutions to flooding in Katy, greater Houston area," 9 Apr. 2018 And once that soil was gone, it was gone for good, silting up the seabed and exposing the old bony rock beneath Europe’s soft topside. Bella Bathurst, Newsweek, "Kill the Plough, Save Our Soils," 29 May 2014 Elsewhere in the state, a smattering of farmers are trying other techniques for capturing nitrate—collecting it in engineered wetlands on their soggier fields, for example, or in silted-in oxbow river bends excavated to hold more water. National Geographic, "The Simple River-Cleaning Tactics That Big Farms Ignore," 7 Dec. 2017 Soon, piers and warehouses were abandoned, General Electric was poisoning the Hudson with PCBs and the East River had silted up and become a de facto dump, with rusted cars clustering around the base of the Brooklyn Bridge. Gina Levay, Smithsonian, "How New York City Is Rediscovering Its Maritime Spirit," 29 May 2017 In the end, the studies showed that changes in the tide dynamics would be detrimental to the environment — and that the barrages would silt up very quickly. Nancy Lord, Alaska Dispatch News, "Fascinating book on tides includes Alaska," 12 Aug. 2017 Soon, piers and warehouses were abandoned, General Electric was poisoning the Hudson with PCBs and the East River had silted up and become a de facto dump, with rusted cars clustering around the base of the Brooklyn Bridge. Gina Levay, Smithsonian, "How New York City Is Rediscovering Its Maritime Spirit," 2 May 2017

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1799, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for silt

Noun

Middle English cylte, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian dialect sylt beach flooded at high tide; akin to Old High German sulza salt marsh, Old English sealt salt

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Dictionary Entries near silt

Silphidae

silphium

sils

silt

siltage

silt loam

silt soil

Statistics for silt

Last Updated

22 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for silt

The first known use of silt was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for silt

silt

noun

English Language Learners Definition of silt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: sand, soil, mud, etc., that is carried by flowing water and that sinks to the bottom of a river, pond, etc.

silt

verb

English Language Learners Definition of silt (Entry 2 of 2)

: to become blocked, filled, or covered with silt

: to block, fill, or cover (something) with silt

silt

noun
\ˈsilt \

Kids Definition of silt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : particles of small size left as sediment from water

2 : a soil made up mostly of silt and containing little clay

silt

verb
silted; silting

Kids Definition of silt (Entry 2 of 2)

: to fill, cover, or block with silt

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