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 upthe 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 How to pronounce silty (audio) \ adjective

Verb

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

Examples of silt in a Sentence

Verb The entrance to the creek had silted shut.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The captain's desk, with its drawers tightly shut, collects layers of fine marine silt. Megan Gannon, Smithsonian, "Divers Get an Eerie First Look Inside the Arctic Shipwreck of the HMS Terror," 30 Aug. 2019 The gravel and silt of the ancient seafloor became rippling layers of sandstone and shale. Sarah Kaplan, chicagotribune.com, "Travel science: Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania," 11 Sep. 2019 In the two decades since, residents say silt that travels south from the northern suburbs has built up and eroded the shoreline. Hayat Norimine, Dallas News, "'It's time': Dallas council member pushes for White Rock Lake dredging," 10 Aug. 2019 The results showed most of the sand and silt quickly settled out, says Jez Spearman, the experiment's leader and a marine sediment transport expert with HR Wallingford, a private research firm in the United Kingdom. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, "Mountains hidden in the deep sea are biological hot spots. Will mining ruin them?," 12 Sep. 2019 Eroded silt covered their spring, ponds, and reef flats. Wade Graham, Smithsonian, "Why Molokai, With All Its Wonders, Is the Least Developed of Hawai’i’s Islands," 31 Aug. 2019 Wine bottles and jugs encased in silt still stood upright in wooden niches and rifles still hung on the walls, encased in rust. Meagan Flynn, Anchorage Daily News, "A doomed 1845 expedition to the Arctic killed 129 men. Now the ship’s artifacts have been found ‘frozen in time.’," 29 Aug. 2019 Over time, windblown silt buried them deep, locking them in permafrost. Katie Orlinsky, National Geographic, "Arctic permafrost is thawing fast. That affects us all.," 16 Aug. 2019 Thanks to the cold temperature of the water, the lack of natural light, and the layers of silt covering many of the artifacts, the ship and its contents were in remarkably good condition. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Fresh images of HMS Terror shipwreck could clear up lingering mysteries," 30 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But neither removes the desert of sand that still silts up the wheels of Indian commerce. The Economist, "India Inc is growing disenchanted with Narendra Modi," 17 Aug. 2019 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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Statistics for silt

Last Updated

5 Nov 2019

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
How to pronounce silt (audio)

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 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on silt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for silt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with silt

Spanish Central: Translation of silt

Nglish: Translation of silt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of silt for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about silt

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