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loam

[lohm]
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noun
  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.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to cover or stop with loam.
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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

  • The loam should be slightly moist, and free from organic matter.

    The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise

    M. E. Hard

  • A stiff, half-clay soil with some loam is best suited to this crop.

    Agriculture for Beginners

    Charles William Burkett

  • Loam: an earthy mixture of clay and sand with organic matter.

    Agriculture for Beginners

    Charles William Burkett

  • Test with clay, gravel, and loam, also with mixtures of these and leaf-mould.

    Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Nature Study

    Ontario Ministry of Education

  • Every plant had all the loam, light, water, air and nourishment it could use.

    2 B R 0 2 B

    Kurt Vonnegut


British Dictionary definitions for loam

loam

noun
  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
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verb
  1. (tr) to cover, treat, or fill with loam
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Derived Formsloamy, adjectiveloaminess, noun

Word Origin

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

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

loam in Science

loam

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