- mud, mire, or ooze; slush.
- a deposit of ooze at the bottom of a body of water.
- any of various more or less mudlike deposits or mixtures.
- the sediment in a steam boiler or water tank.
- broken ice, as on the sea.
- a mixture of some finely powdered substance and water.
- sediment deposited during the treatment of sewage.
- Also called activated sludge. Bacteriology. sewage sediment that contains a heavy growth of microorganisms, resulting from vigorous aeration.
- a fine, mudlike powder produced by a mining drill.
Origin of sludge
1640–50; variant of dial. slutch, slitch, Middle English slich slime, wet mud (compare its derivative slucched muddy); apparently of expressive orig.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- soft mud, snow, etc
- any deposit or sediment
- a surface layer of ice that has a slushy appearance
- (in sewage disposal) the solid constituents of sewage that precipitate during treatment and are removed for subsequent purification
Word Origin for sludge
C17: probably related to slush
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
"mud, mire, ooze," 1640s, of uncertain origin, possibly a variant of Middle English slutch "mud, mire," or a variant of slush (n.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper