\ˈsu̇t, ˈsət, ˈsüt \

Definition of soot 

(Entry 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


sooted; sooting; soots

Definition of soot (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to coat or cover with soot

Examples of soot in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Associated Press video showed demonstrators torching large piles of tires, engulfing the area in black smoke meant to shield them from Israeli snipers; the faces of some of the activists were covered in black soot. Washington Post, "7 killed by Israeli fire, scores hurt in Gaza border protest," 6 Apr. 2018 Frost died of carbon monoxide poisoning from the inhalation of smoke and soot. Max Londberg And Tony Rizzo, kansascity, "ADT didn’t alert officials to alarms at burning home with Kansas mom inside, suit says," 12 July 2018 Propane: Makes lots of black smoke and soot—good for outdoor fires. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The Secrets of Summer 2018's Greatest Movie Stunts and Effects," 20 June 2018 Also some good news: The association gave good marks for another measure known as particle pollution, also known as soot. Lee Bergquist, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Parts of Milwaukee region get a failing grade on air pollution from the American Lung Association," 18 Apr. 2018 The house and barn were fine, except for a layer of soot. Anne Ryman, azcentral, "Granite Mountain Hotshots: An untold story from the day 19 firefighters died," 23 June 2018 The sweeping change, long sought by conservatives, could have significant implications for decisions on everything from the toxicity of household products to the level of soot that power plants can emit. The Washington Post,, "EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt unveils controversial 'transparency' rule," 24 Apr. 2018 Early one recent morning, on the banks of a dry stream, with the air tasting of soot and sand, Ms. Tede stood over a pile of dark embers, making charcoal. Somini Sengupta, New York Times, "Hotter, Drier, Hungrier: How Global Warming Punishes the World’s Poorest," 12 Mar. 2018 Emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide — pollution that forms smog, soot and acid rain — dropped by about 90 percent at the power plants between 2009 and 2017, according to a Tribune review of federal records. Michael Hawthorne,, "EPA deal marks dramatic shift away from dirty coal power in Chicago area," 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'soot.' 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 soot


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


1602, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for soot


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

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Dictionary Entries near soot





soot blowing

soot brown


Statistics for soot

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for soot

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

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More Definitions for soot



English Language Learners Definition of soot

: a black powder that is formed when something (such as wood or coal) is burned


\ˈsu̇t, ˈsət\

Kids Definition of soot

: a black powder formed when something is burned : the very fine powder that colors smoke

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Comments on soot

What made you want to look up soot? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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