See more synonyms for loam on Thesaurus.com
  1. a rich, friable soil containing a relatively equal mixture of sand and silt and a somewhat smaller proportion of clay.
  2. a mixture of clay, sand, straw, etc., used in making molds for founding and in plastering walls, stopping holes, etc.
  3. earth or soil.
  4. Obsolete. clay or clayey earth.
verb (used with object)
  1. to cover or stop with loam.

Origin of loam

before 900; late Middle English lome, earlier lam(e), Old English lām; cognate with Dutch leem, German Lehm loam, clay; akin to lime1
Related formsloam·i·ness, nounloam·less, adjectiveloam·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for loam

Historical Examples of loam

British Dictionary definitions for loam


  1. rich soil consisting of a mixture of sand, clay, and decaying organic material
  2. a paste of clay and sand used for making moulds in a foundry, plastering walls, etc
  1. (tr) to cover, treat, or fill with loam
Derived Formsloamy, adjectiveloaminess, noun

Word Origin for loam

Old English lām; related to Old Swedish lēmo clay, Old High German leimo
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 loam

Old English lam "clay, mud, mire, earth," from Proto-Germanic *laimaz (cf. Old Saxon lemo, Dutch leem, German Lehm "loam"), from PIE root *(s)lei- "slimy" (see slime (n.)). As a type of highly fertile clayey soil, it is attested from 1660s. As a verb from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

loam in Science


  1. Soil composed of approximately equal quantities of sand, silt, and clay, often with variable amounts of decayed plant matter.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.