sluice

1 of 2

noun

1
a
: an artificial passage for water (as in a millstream) fitted with a valve or gate for stopping or regulating flow
b
: a body of water pent up behind a floodgate
2
: a dock gate : floodgate
3
a
: a stream flowing through a floodgate
b
: a channel to drain or carry off surplus water
4
: a long inclined trough usually on the ground
especially : such a contrivance paved usually with riffles to hold quicksilver for catching gold

sluice

2 of 2

verb

sluiced; sluicing

transitive verb

1
: to draw off by or through a sluice
2
a
: to wash with or in water running through or from a sluice
b
: to drench with a sudden flow : flush
3
: to transport (logs) in a sluice

intransitive verb

: to pour as if from a sluice

Examples of sluice in a Sentence

Verb he sluiced the gutters with lots of water in order to make sure they were clear
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Operators can open up more sluices in times of need. IEEE Spectrum, 1 Sep. 2023 Visual evidence assembled by The Times shows clear damage to the roadway and to a few of the sluice gates on one side of the channel in the months before the breach of the dam. Dmitriy Khavin, New York Times, 16 June 2023 Ukraine said the troops occupying it detonated explosives last fall that damaged three sluice gates, which help regulate water levels. Time, 7 June 2023 That could enable a bad actor to do things such as change chemical levels or open sluices to manipulate flows in water channels or dams. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 8 May 2023 This is done mechanically with a combination of locks, turbines and sluice gates — and constant communication among the operators of the individual dams. Lori Hinnant and Vasilisa Stepanenko, Anchorage Daily News, 25 May 2023 The work on the dam completely prevented drainage: There had been no attempt to replace the five sluice pipes after they were removed and sold for scrap, and the Club placed screens in front of the spillways to prevent the stocked fish from escaping. Popular Mechanics, 12 Jan. 2023 Recent major repair projects include: Phelps Brook Dam and East Dike rehabilitation, 2018, $1.46 million; Nepaug Dam and Phelps Brook Dam sluice gate replacement at two dams, 2017, $955,000; and West Hartford Reservoir No. 2 rehabilitation, 2015, $4.275 million. Ed Stannard, Hartford Courant, 25 Sep. 2022 The strategy was on display on July 19, when authorities in central China's Anhui province opened sluice gates of the Wangjiaba dam, a move that protected cities and more populous areas downstream but flooded acres of farmland and forced the immediate evacuation of thousands of rural residents. Grady McGregor, Fortune, 8 Aug. 2020
Verb
Eventually, the Maya built a system of canals, dams, and sluices to store and transport water. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 9 Oct. 2023 The valley functioned as a drain for the mountains of the Sierra Nevada, sluicing trillions of gallons of water out to the ocean every spring. Jake Bittle, WIRED, 6 Jan. 2024 Republicans have documented the ungodly amount of foreign money that sluiced through Biden accounts. The Editors, National Review, 14 Dec. 2023 More geographically perceptive people pointed out that the stadium sits on top of a hill, from which water would sluice back down into the city’s basin. Ismail Muhammad, New York Times, 12 Sep. 2023 Sunlight refracted in pale sprays off the city’s glass, and water sluiced down drains and pipes, onto windowsills. Scott Johnson, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 July 2023 Nineteenth century miners flocked to Otago to dredge, pan, and sluice its lucrative waters. Bill Morris, Discover Magazine, 24 Apr. 2023 Then came the Industrial Revolution, crunching and sluicing away, and changing pretty much everything: social structures, urban spaces, land use, belief systems, historical topography, not to mention the chemical properties of earth, water and air. Holland Cotter, New York Times, 23 Mar. 2023 The complex is carefully maintained, right down to the large outdoor pool into which housekeeper/chef/doggedly loyal factotum Angela (Vera Barreto) is sluicing chlorine as the film opens. Jessica Kiang, Variety, 25 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sluice.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English sluse, alteration of scluse, from Anglo-French escluse, from Late Latin exclusa, from Latin, feminine of exclusus, past participle of excludere to exclude

First Known Use

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1596, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sluice was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near sluice

Cite this Entry

“Sluice.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sluice. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

sluice

1 of 2 noun
1
: an artificial passage for water with a gate for controlling its flow or changing its direction
2
: a body of water held back by a gate or a stream flowing through a gate
3
: a device (as a floodgate) for controlling the flow of water
4
: a channel that carries off surplus water
5
: a long sloping trough (as for floating logs to a sawmill)

sluice

2 of 2 verb
sluiced; sluicing
1
: to draw off by or through a sluice
2
a
: to wash with or in water running through or from a sluice
b

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