silt

noun
\ ˈsilt How to pronounce silt (audio) \

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

Other Words from silt

Noun

silty \ ˈsil-​tē How to pronounce silt (audio) \ adjective

Verb

siltation \ sil-​ˈtā-​shən How to pronounce silt (audio) \ noun

Examples of silt in a Sentence

Verb The entrance to the creek had silted shut.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Completed in 2019, the project took sand from the environmental restoration of the San Elijo Lagoon, which had been filling with silt for decades. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Mar. 2022 During July's enormous rainfall, van Lelieveld watched as the river swelled, picked up speed, and turned brown from silt and debris. Mick Krever, CNN, 5 Nov. 2021 Pieces of gravel are larger and heavier than particles of sand or silt, requiring faster-moving water to pick up the gravel and transport it. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 Apr. 2022 Thorn Creek had other ideas, though, gradually filling the lake with silt that had nowhere to go thanks to the 26th Street dam. Paul Eisenberg, chicagotribune.com, 10 Apr. 2022 Flows through the concrete channel and canyons along the border frequently flush mud, silt and other sediment, along with trash, into the ecosystem. San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Mar. 2022 The true magic may lie in the soil, which is rich with river silt. Sunset Magazine, 21 Mar. 2022 The river, unpolluted seven or eight years ago, is now filled with silt, churned up by barges dredging for gold. Georgina Gustin, NBC News, 19 Dec. 2021 That same drainage system filtered out silt from the shoes, a necessity in the Grand Canyon. Joe Jackson, Outside Online, 3 July 2014 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Climate change damages the streams where they are hatched, and not just by raising the water temperature: Droughts alter stream flow, forest fires destroy shoreline habitat, and mudslides silt up rivers. Joshua Partlow, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Mar. 2022 Climate change damages the streams where they are hatched, and not just by raising the water temperature: Droughts alter stream flow, forest fires destroy shoreline habitat, and mudslides silt up rivers. Joshua Partlow, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Mar. 2022 Climate change damages the streams where they are hatched, and not just by raising the water temperature: Droughts alter stream flow, forest fires destroy shoreline habitat, and mudslides silt up rivers. Joshua Partlow, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Mar. 2022 Climate change damages the streams where they are hatched, and not just by raising the water temperature: Droughts alter stream flow, forest fires destroy shoreline habitat, and mudslides silt up rivers. Joshua Partlow, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Mar. 2022 Climate change damages the streams where they are hatched, and not just by raising the water temperature: Droughts alter stream flow, forest fires destroy shoreline habitat, and mudslides silt up rivers. Washington Post, 7 Nov. 2021 Another nail in the coffin: in the 12th and 13th centuries, its harbor began to silt up, just as Altinum's had 800 years before. Julia Buckley, CNN, 20 Dec. 2021 Deep sea mining works by having vehicles on the ocean floor dig directly into the seabed, and this process releases silt, clay, and other sediments that are immediately carried away by the flow of water. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 13 July 2020 One flood, and a river honey hole is now a shallow, silted-in bar. Joe Cermele, Outdoor Life, 11 May 2020 See More

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.

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

Learn More About silt

Time Traveler for silt

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near silt

sils

silt

siltage

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for silt

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Silt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/silt. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for silt

silt

noun
\ ˈsilt How to pronounce silt (audio) \

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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