sub·​soil | \ ˈsəb-ˌsȯi(-ə)l How to pronounce subsoil (audio) \

Definition of subsoil

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the stratum of weathered material that underlies the surface soil


subsoiled; subsoiling; subsoils

Definition of subsoil (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to turn, break, or stir the subsoil of

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Other Words from subsoil


subsoiler noun

Examples of subsoil in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Today farmers in the Piedmont, from Virginia to Alabama between the Atlantic coast and the Appalachian mountains, coax crops from poor subsoil rather than the rich topsoil that early European settlers praised. David R. Montgomery, The Conversation, "It’s time to rethink the disrupted US food system from the ground up," 5 June 2020 The windblown loess soil comprises freshwater sedimentary topsoil resting over fractured basalt subsoil. Michael Alberty | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Willamette Valley wine map gets 2 new grape-growing regions: Tualatin Hills, Laurelwood District," 4 June 2020 Built on the edge of the city's main expressway, the mall had suffered previous subsoil slides. Frank Miles, Fox News, "Controversial Mexico City shopping mall partially collapses," 12 July 2018 Natural and man-made grooves in the subsoil or bedrock hold more moisture than the undisturbed ground around them and are usually filled with richer soils. The Economist, "Dry weather is helping archaeologists discover ancient sites," 12 July 2018 Chief Meteorologist Steve Horstmeyer said those are created when cold works downward through wet soil and subsoil. Jessica Schmidt,, "What is causing booms, flashing lights in Colerain Township?," 16 Jan. 2018 Top dressing means materials will work into the subsoil by rainfall, irrigation, and activity of subsoil organisms i.e. earthworms. Jefferson County Cooperative Extension,, "No-till gardening, is it for me? (Garden Talk)," 21 Feb. 2018 New construction should be set to stable subsoils with adequate footings to preclude uneven settling of your home's structure. Duo Dickinson,, "Cracking Up: How To Repair Gaps Around Trim, Windows And Doors Caused By Humidity Shifts," 31 Aug. 2017 One thing that makes the area special is the subsoil’s high proportion of limestone, great chunks of which are piled up along Vineyard Road, where some of the top wineries are located. Jay Mcinerney, Town & Country, "Two Brothers Lead California's Next Great Wine Experiment," 25 July 2017

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


1775, in the meaning defined above


1818, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for subsoil

Time Traveler

The first known use of subsoil was in 1775

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Last Updated

27 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Subsoil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for subsoil


How to pronounce subsoil (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of subsoil

: the layer of soil that is under the top layer


sub·​soil | \ ˈsəb-ˌsȯil How to pronounce subsoil (audio) \

Kids Definition of subsoil

: a layer of soil lying just under the topsoil

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with subsoil

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