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[sloos] /slus/
an artificial channel for conducting water, often fitted with a gate (sluice gate) at the upper end for regulating the flow.
the body of water held back or controlled by a sluice gate.
any contrivance for regulating a flow from or into a receptacle.
a channel, especially one carrying off surplus water; drain.
a stream of surplus water.
an artificial stream or channel of water for moving solid matter:
a lumbering sluice.
Also called sluice box. Mining. a long, sloping trough or the like, with grooves on the bottom, into which water is directed to separate gold from gravel or sand.
verb (used with object), sluiced, sluicing.
to let out (water) by or as if by opening a sluice.
to drain (a pond, lake, etc.) by or as if by opening a sluice.
to open a sluice upon.
to flush or cleanse with a rush of water:
to sluice the decks of a boat.
Mining. to wash in a sluice.
to send (logs) down a sluiceway.
verb (used without object), sluiced, sluicing.
to flow or pour through or as if through a sluice.
Origin of sluice
1300-50; Middle English scluse (noun) < Old French escluse < Late Latin exclūsa, a water barrier, noun use of feminine of Latin exclūsus, past participle of exclūdere to exclude
Related forms
sluicelike, adjective
undersluice, noun
unsluiced, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sluicing
Historical Examples
  • They were here at the foot of a glacier stream, from the bed of which they had been sluicing gold.

    Alaska Days with John Muir Samuel Hall Young
  • I saw the driving and sluicing as I have described it, in May, 1880.

  • Cleaning up is considered light and pleasant work as compared with other sluicing, and is often reserved for Sunday.

  • Mary's voice answered from the sink, where she was sluicing her face and arms.

    The Nest Builder Beatrice Forbes-Robertson Hale
  • And all along men were still digging, dumping, sluicing and getting gold.

    In to the Yukon William Seymour Edwards
  • Go ahead with your sluicing, or my drive will be down on top of you.

    The Boss of Wind River David Goodger (
  • She tried to remember what Brent had told her of the sluicing out process, and realized that he had told very little.

    Snowdrift James B. Hendryx
  • Just as soon as you get logs enough in the pond, start to sluicing them through the dam.

    The Blazed Trail Stewart Edward White
  • They were hustled below by the third officer, who was superintending the sluicing of the dusty, black decks.

    Captivity M. Leonora Eyles
  • There is some question as to the necessity of using some water for sluicing.

    The Niagara River Archer Butler Hulbert
British Dictionary definitions for sluicing


Also called sluiceway. a channel that carries a rapid current of water, esp one that has a sluicegate to control the flow
the body of water controlled by a sluicegate
(mining) an inclined trough for washing ore, esp one having riffles on the bottom to trap particles
an artificial channel through which logs can be floated
(informal) a brief wash in running water
(transitive) to draw out or drain (water, etc) from (a pond, etc) by means of a sluice
(transitive) to wash or irrigate with a stream of water
(transitive) (mining) to wash in a sluice
(transitive) to send (logs, etc) down a sluice
(intransitive; often foll by away or out) (of water, etc) to run or flow from or as if from a sluice
(transitive) to provide with a sluice
Derived Forms
sluicelike, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French escluse, from Late Latin exclūsa aqua water shut out, from Latin exclūdere to shut out, exclude
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 sluicing



c.1400, earlier scluse (mid-14c.), a shortening of Old French escluse "sluice, floodgate" (Modern French écluse), from Late Latin exclusa "barrier to shut out water" (in aqua exclusa "water shut out," i.e. separated from the river), from fem. singular of Latin exclusus, past participle of excludere "to shut out" (see exclude).


1590s, from sluice (n.). Related: Sluiced; sluicing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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