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[sleet] /slit/
precipitation in the form of ice pellets created by the freezing of rain as it falls (distinguished from hail2. ).
glaze (def 17).
Chiefly British. a mixture of rain and snow.
verb (used without object)
to send down sleet.
to fall as or like sleet.
Origin of sleet
1250-1300; (noun) Middle English slete; akin to Low German slote, German Schlossen hail; (v.) Middle English sleten, derivative of the noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for sleeting
Historical Examples
  • Discovering it to be sleeting, he returned for his overcoat.

    The Rules of the Game Stewart Edward White
  • It had been sleeting and the pavements here and there were still icy.

    Philip Dru: Administrator Edward Mandell House
  • Each company was drawn up in line in its barracks—it was sleeting outside.

    A Boy Trooper With Sheridan Stanton P. Allen
  • Last night it was sleeting just a little, and he had to have a taxi-cab.

    Just Around the Corner Fannie Hurst
  • They pelted down the street and into the first sleeting showers coming out of a sky that was now dirty grey and low.

    Makers Cory Doctorow
  • The night was bitter bad, black as a Fuzzy and sleeting out of the foothills like manslaughter.

    Held for Orders Frank H. Spearman
  • Muriel turned to look out of the window toward the town, but all that she could see was the grey, sleeting, wind-driven rain.

    Rilla of the Lighthouse Grace May North
  • The weather had changed, and it was sleeting, but anything was better than the drawing room.

    When a Man Marries Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • It was snowing—or rather, sleeting, in the half-hearted, fitful way to which Londoners are accustomed.

    The Tree of Knowledge Mrs. Baillie Reynolds
  • It was an awful night, raining and sleeting—but he took no notice of the weather.

    Heart and Science Wilkie Collins
British Dictionary definitions for sleeting


partly melted falling snow or hail or (esp US) partly frozen rain
(mainly US) the thin coat of ice that forms when sleet or rain freezes on cold surfaces
(intransitive) to fall as sleet
Derived Forms
sleety, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Germanic; compare Middle Low German slōten hail, Middle High German slōze, German Schlossen hailstones
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 sleeting



c.1300, slete, either from an unrecorded Old English *slete, *slyte, related to Middle High German sloz, Middle Low German sloten (plural) "hail," from Proto-Germanic *slautjan- (cf. dialectal Norwegian slutr, Danish slud, Swedish sloud "sleet"), from root *slaut-.


early 14c., from sleet (n.). Related: Sleeted; sleeting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sleeting in Science
Precipitation that falls to earth in the form of frozen or partially frozen raindrops, often when the temperature is near the freezing point. Sleet usually leaves the cloud in the form of snow that melts as it passes through warm layers of air during its descent. The raindrops and partially melted snowflakes then freeze in the colder layers nearer the earth before striking the ground as pellets of ice, which usually bounce. By contrast,hail forms by the accumulation of layers of ice on the hailstone as it moves up and down in the cloud, and hailstones can become much larger than sleet pellets. The word sleet is also used informally to describe a mixture of snow, sleet, and rain.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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