top·​soil | \ ˈtäp-ˌsȯi(-ə)l How to pronounce topsoil (audio) \

Definition of topsoil

: surface soil usually including the organic layer in which plants have most of their roots and which the farmer turns over in plowing

Examples of topsoil in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The 66-foot vessel, which is located in a burial mound, is just beneath the topsoil at a depth of 1.6 feet. Fox News, "Viking ship discovery: Historic dig to uncover longship starts in Norway," 30 June 2020 Stick to potting soil; planting mix or topsoil can be too heavy. oregonlive, "How to grow herbs indoors to spice up your cooking," 9 June 2020 Firefly larvae live in the topsoil and leaf litter for a couple years before emerging as adults. Douglas Main, National Geographic, "A rare look at fireflies that blink in unison, in a forest without tourists," 11 June 2020 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 It is estimated that three to four inches of topsoil was blown away during the 1930s. Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, "A devastating Dust Bowl heat wave is now more than twice as likely, study says," 21 May 2020 But beneath the topsoil of this modern country, a mere seven decades old, lies an older reality, embodied in the word Bharat, which can evoke the idea of India as the holy land, specifically of the Hindus. Aatish Taseer, The Atlantic, "India Is No Longer India," 10 Apr. 2020 Lowndes County is part of the Black Belt—the swathe of land named for its fertile topsoil which produced vast amounts of cotton on the back of slave labour and, later, sharecropping, and where emancipated black workers farmed rented land. The Economist, "RacePoverty in America continues to affect people of colour most," 26 Sep. 2019

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

1836, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for topsoil

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The first known use of topsoil was in 1836

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Statistics for topsoil

Last Updated

9 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Topsoil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for topsoil


How to pronounce topsoil (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of topsoil

: the upper layer of soil in which plants have most of their roots


top·​soil | \ ˈtäp-ˌsȯil How to pronounce topsoil (audio) \

Kids Definition of topsoil

: the rich upper layer of soil in which plants have most of their roots

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with topsoil

Spanish Central: Translation of topsoil

Nglish: Translation of topsoil for Spanish Speakers

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