1 of 2


: a black substance formed by combustion or separated from fuel during combustion, rising in fine particles, and adhering to the sides of the chimney or pipe conveying the smoke
especially : the fine powder consisting chiefly of carbon that colors smoke


2 of 2


sooted; sooting; soots

transitive verb

: to coat or cover with soot

Examples of soot in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
The people who could escape were covered in soot as smoke and flames filled the building and the attackers slipped away from the scene unnoticed, the FBI said. Camille Fine, USA TODAY, 10 Sep. 2023 City windows are often caked in air pollutants from construction and building materials, car exhaust, even soot from Canadian wildfires. Jill Terreri Ramos, New York Times, 9 Sep. 2023 The wick trimmer keeps wicks at a safe burning height and reduces soot, and the snuffer helps reduce smokiness when putting out a flame. Samantha Jones, Better Homes & Gardens, 24 Aug. 2023 Maui County shared the photos showing Bissen and Green walking along the once-bustling Front Street, the historical Sugar Cane Train and Banyan Court, all eerily quiet and covered in soot. Diana Dasrath, NBC News, 11 Aug. 2023 This prevents issues like smoking, crackling, and excess soot that can stain the candle. Maryal Miller Carter, USA TODAY, 31 Aug. 2023 At one point, smoke from the fire near Edson formed pyrocumulonimbus clouds that injected a plume of soot 31 miles up into the stratosphere, which then traveled around the globe. Omar Mouallem, WIRED, 23 Aug. 2023 The off-white stucco exteriors of his buildings are coated with soot within days of completion. Lawrence Jackson, Harper's Magazine, 10 July 2023 Bad air quality can be caused by a number of different things, including wildfire soot and smoke, and chemicals released when burning fossil fuels. Aurora Sousanis, Detroit Free Press, 28 June 2023 See More

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

Word History



Middle English, from Old English sōt; akin to Old Irish suide soot, Old English sittan to sit

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


1602, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of soot was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near soot

Cite this Entry

“Soot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a black powder formed when something is burned
especially : the fine powder consisting chiefly of carbon that colors smoke
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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