[hyoo-muh s or, often, yoo-]
- the dark organic material in soils, produced by the decomposition of vegetable or animal matter and essential to the fertility of the earth.
Origin of humus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for humus
This vegetable addition to the soil is generally known as humus.Agriculture for Beginners
Charles William Burkett
Where there is an abundance of humus in the soil there is likely also to be an abundance of nitrogen.Manures and the principles of manuring
Charles Morton Aikman
The more there is of this humus in the soil, the more thriftily plants will grow.Conservation Reader
Harold W. Fairbanks
These bodies have received the collective names Humus and Geine.Peat and its Uses as Fertilizer and Fuel
Samuel William Johnson
Most of the crops require tillage, and that is exhaustive of the store of humus.
- a dark brown or black colloidal mass of partially decomposed organic matter in the soil. It improves the fertility and water retention of the soil and is therefore important for plant growth
C18: from Latin: soil, earth
Avoid confusion with hummus
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
Word Origin and History for humus
1796, from Latin humus "earth, soil," probably from humi "on the ground," from PIE *dhghem- "earth" (cf. Latin humilis "low;" see chthonic). Related: Humous (adj.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A dark-brown or black organic substance made up of decayed plant or animal matter. Humus provides nutrients for plants and increases the ability of soil to retain water.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.