Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[silt] /sɪlt/
earthy matter, fine sand, or the like carried by moving or running water and deposited as a sediment.
verb (used without object)
to become filled or choked up with silt.
verb (used with object)
to fill or choke up with silt.
Origin of silt
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English cylte gravel, perhaps orig. salty deposit; compare Old English unsylt unsalted, unseasoned, sylting seasoning, syltan to salt, season, Norwegian sylt salty swamp, German Sülze salt marsh, brine
Related forms
siltation, noun
silty, adjective
desilt, verb (used with object)
Can be confused
sand, sediment, silt. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for silting
Historical Examples
  • This then so far shows that there is a silting forward of the land.

  • Intrigue, and riot, and suppression, and the silting up of the Zwyn were driving trade from Bruges.

    The Story of Bruges Ernest Gilliat-Smith
  • Navigation is not yet impeded by the deposits; and the rate at which the harbour is silting up—one-third of one per cent.

    Industrial Cuba Robert P. Porter
  • Bruges, however, had now ceased to be the central market and exchange of Europe, owing to the silting up of the river Zwijn.

    History of Holland George Edmundson
  • Hence when the discharge is large there is danger of erosion, and when it is small of silting or obstruction by weeds.

  • The Laguna Madre has become dried up, however, due to the silting up of its channels.

    Mexico Charles Reginald Enock
  • In the 16th century the port began to dwindle in importance owing to the silting up of the Seine estuary and the rise of Havre.

  • Outside the rain swept steadily against the glass with a soft, silting sound.

    Mortmain Arthur Cheny Train
  • Before the silting up of Poole Harbour the sea came nearer to its walls than it does now and the river was much wider.

    Thomas Hardy's Dorset Robert Thurston Hopkins
  • Great banks of sand 20 feet high line the river-beds, and wash away with the heavy rains, which contribute to the silting up.

    Southern Arabia Theodore Bent
British Dictionary definitions for silting


a fine deposit of mud, clay, etc, esp one in a river or lake
(usually foll by up) to fill or become filled with silt; choke
Derived Forms
siltation, noun
silty, adjective
Word Origin
C15: of Scandinavian origin; compare Norwegian, Danish sylt salt marsh; related to Old High German sulza salt marsh; see salt
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for silting



mid-15c., originally "sediment deposited by seawater," probably from a Scandinavian source (cf. Norwegian and Danish sylt "salt marsh"), or from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch silte, sulte "salt marsh, brine," from Proto-Germanic *sultjo- (cf. Old English sealt, Old High German sulza "saltwater," German Sulze "brine"), from PIE *sal- (see salt (n.)).



"to become choked with silt" (of river channels, harbors, etc.), 1799, from silt (n.). Related: Silted; silting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
silting in Science
A sedimentary material consisting of grains or particles of disintegrated rock, smaller than sand and larger than clay. The diameter of the particles ranges from 0.0039 to 0.0625 mm. Silt is often found at the bottom of bodies of water where it accumulates slowly by settling through the water.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for silt

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for silting

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for silting