- to make unclean, dirty, or filthy, especially on the surface: to soil one's clothes.
- to smirch, smudge, or stain: The ink soiled his hands.
- to sully or tarnish, as with disgrace; defile morally: to soil one's good name.
- to become soiled: White soils easily.
- the act or fact of soiling.
- the state of being soiled.
- a spot, mark, or stain.
- dirty or foul matter; filth; sewage.
- ordure; manure.
Origin of soil2
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- to feed (confined cattle, horses, etc.) freshly cut green fodder for roughage.
Origin of soil3
Examples from the Web for soiling
How can she wax poetically about soiling herself at parties and not get branded as sleazy trash, a la Ke$ha?How Jennifer Lawrence Took Over Hollywood. (It’s Not Just Because of Her Charm.)
December 20, 2013
The smell of this mixture is not unwholesome, and may be applied to the finest damask bed without any fear of soiling it.
I tell you I wouldn't be soiling my hands with it—thief and pirate's hands though they be.Captain Blood
I know you have always been a little particular about soiling your hands.Once to Every Man
But with us the economy of soiling is the exception, and not the rule.Cattle and Their Diseases
There were no sidewalks in these streets, and the dust was soiling the train of her dress.An Eagle Flight
- the top layer of the land surface of the earth that is composed of disintegrated rock particles, humus, water, and airSee zonal soil, azonal soil, intrazonal soil, horizon (def. 4), horizon (def. 5) Related adjective: telluric
- a type of this material having specific characteristicsloamy soil
- land, country, or regionone's native soil
- the soil life and work on a farm; landhe belonged to the soil, as his forefathers had
- any place or thing encouraging growth or development
- to make or become dirty or stained
- (tr) to pollute with sin or disgrace; sully; defilehe soiled the family honour by his cowardice
- the state or result of soiling
- refuse, manure, or excrement
- (tr) to feed (livestock) freshly cut green fodder either to fatten or purge them
Word Origin and History for soiling
early 13c., "to defile or pollute with sin," from Old French soillier "to splatter with mud, to foul or make dirty," originally "to wallow" (12c., Modern French souillier), from souil "tub, wild boar's wallow, pigsty," which is from either Latin solium "tub for bathing; seat," or Latin suculus "little pig," from sus "pig." Literal meaning "to make dirty, begrime" is attested from c.1300 in English. Related: Soiled; soiling.
c.1300, originally "land, area, place," from Anglo-French soil "piece of ground, place" (13c.), from an merger or confusion of Old French sol "bottom, ground, soil" (12c., from Latin solum "soil, ground;" see sole (n.1)), Old French soeul, sueil "threshold, area, place" (from Latin solium "seat"), and Old French soil, soille "a miry place," from soillier (see soil (v.)).
Meaning "place of one's nativity" is from c.1400. Meaning "mould, earth, dirt" (especially that which plants grow in) is attested from mid-15c.
"filth, dirt, refuse matter, sewage, liquid likely to contain excrement," c.1600, earlier "miry or muddy place" (early 15c.), from Old French soille "miry place," from soillier (v.) "to make dirty," and in part a native formation from soil (v.). This is the sense in archaic night-soil.
- The loose top layer of the Earth's surface, consisting of rock and mineral particles mixed with decayed organic matter (humus), and capable of retaining water, providing nutrients for plants, and supporting a wide range of biotic communities. Soil is formed by a combination of depositional, chemical, and biological processes and plays an important role in the carbon, nitrogen, and hydrologic cycles. Soil types vary widely from one region to another, depending on the type of bedrock they overlie and the climate in which they form. In wet and humid regions, for example, soils tend to be thicker than they do in dry regions. See more at A horizon B horizon C horizon. See illustration at ABC soil.