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[sil] /sɪl/
a horizontal timber, block, or the like serving as a foundation of a wall, house, etc.
the horizontal piece or member beneath a window, door, or other opening.
Geology. a tabular body of intrusive igneous rock, ordinarily between beds of sedimentary rocks or layers of volcanic ejecta.
Origin of sill
before 900; Middle English sille, Old English syl, sylle; cognate with Low German süll, Old Norse syll; akin to German Schwelle sill
Related forms
sill-like, adjective
undersill, noun


[sil] /sɪl/
Mount, a mountain in E central California, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. 14,153 feet (4314 meters). Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sill
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "You let me step in," answered Mattie, a determined foot on the sill.

    Tiverton Tales Alice Brown
  • Presently the rod must have tapped the sill, with such a start did she face about.

    The Cavalier George Washington Cable
  • In a moment he had slipped over the sill and stood upon the porch.

    The Inn at the Red Oak Latta Griswold
  • She put her elbows on the sill of the window and rested her face in her hands.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • I'll get on the sill and see what I can do through the top o' the window.

    The Burning Spear John Galsworthy
  • He mechanically stretched out a hand and felt along the sill.

    The Night Riders Ridgwell Cullum
  • He landed on his back upon the nets, sill and a foot of boarding in his hands.

    The Woman-Haters Joseph C. Lincoln
British Dictionary definitions for sill


a shelf at the bottom of a window inside a room
a horizontal piece along the outside lower member of a window, that throws water clear of the wall below
the lower horizontal member of a window or door frame
a continuous horizontal member placed on top of a foundation wall in order to carry a timber framework
a flat usually horizontal mass of igneous rock, situated between two layers of older sedimentary rock, that was formed by an intrusion of magma
Word Origin
Old English syll; related to Old Norse svill sill, Icelandic svoli tree trunk, Old High German swella sill, Latin solum ground
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sill

Old English syll "beam, threshold, large timber serving as a foundation of a wall," from Proto-Germanic *suljo (cf. Old Norse svill, Swedish syll, Danish syld "framework of a building," Middle Low German sull, Old High German swelli, German Schwelle "sill"), perhaps from PIE root *swel- (3) "post, board" (cf. Greek selma "beam"). Meaning "lower horizontal part of a window opening" is recorded from early 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sill in Science
A sheet of igneous rock intruded between layers of older rock. See illustration at batholith.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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