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

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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 Upstream deforestation and development is adding silt to rivers in unpredictable ways. Fred Pearce, Science | AAAS, "Why do rivers leap from their banks? Scientists strive to predict deadly flooding events," 13 May 2021 Granite seems to collect the right amount of silt and dirt in its crevices for the ball cactus to grow roots that are just deep enough to keep it stable during harsh winters and rough winds, Remucal said. Star Tribune, "Rare and threatened Minnesota cactus species could be saved with relocation effort," 2 May 2021 Fumes and filth meant considerable cleaning labor for women—rubbing overalls with lard to remove industrial grease or scrubbing the basin of a washing machine to excise dust and silt. Scott W. Stern, The New Republic, "A Rust Belt City’s New Working Class," 31 Mar. 2021 Over millennia, the shallower areas of the bay near downtown and East Village filled with silt, forming an estuary with streams and mud flats where tidal species thrived. San Diego Union-Tribune, "East Village construction dig uncovers 2-million-year-old marine fossils," 24 Apr. 2021 Using grains of plastic to simulate sand and silt, the researchers have studied how the water will move sediment from the river to the bay. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, "Rerouting the Mississippi River could build new land—and save a retreating coast," 22 Apr. 2021 But the Red Sea receded in the centuries thereafter and the ancient canal, clogged with silt, faded into the desert. Washington Post, "The Suez Canal, a chokepoint of history," 26 Mar. 2021 The latter were formed millions of years ago after dead plants and animals mingled with silt, sand or calcium bicarbonate and over time became buried deep under Lake Erie. Leo Deluca, Scientific American, "Black Inventor Garrett Morgan Saved Countless Lives with Gas Mask and Improved Traffic Lights," 25 Feb. 2021 Workers had dredged more than a million cubic feet of sand and silt from beneath the 1,300-foot-long vessel. Rory Jones, WSJ, "Inside the Suez Canal Race to Free the Ever Given Ship," 2 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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, "Scientists: Sea Floor Mining Is Basically as Bad as It Sounds," 13 July 2020 One flood, and a river honey hole is now a shallow, silted-in bar. Joe Cermele, Outdoor Life, "Why I’d Rather Fish a River Than a Lake," 11 May 2020 Malacca’s port, once one of the richest on earth, silted up, and the city became a historical footnote. Hannah Beech, New York Times, "500 Years Ago, This Port Linked East to West. Its Fate Was to Fade Away.," 11 Apr. 2020 Then there is the fact that the Bridgeport Harbor hasn’t been dredged since 1964 and some of its channels have silted in. WSJ, "Connecticut’s Largest City Sees Future in Harnessing Wind Energy," 2 Feb. 2020 But in the 1860s, gold mining and timbering had begun to silt up the high mountain spawning beds, covering and suffocating their eggs. Patrick Symmes, Harper's magazine, "The $68,000 Fish," 28 Oct. 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for silt

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for silt

Last Updated

17 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Silt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/silt. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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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 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

Comments on silt

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