• synonyms


  1. the lowest sill of a structure, usually placed in or on the ground.
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Origin of mudsill

First recorded in 1675–85; mud + sill
Also called footplate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mudsill

Historical Examples

  • This mudsill of the world has learned to read and write and begun to think.

    The Root of Evil

    Thomas Dixon

  • I was transformed into a mudsill and Northern hireling last spring.'

  • The Negro is the mudsill of the social and industrial South to-day.

    Following the Color Line

    Ray Stannard Baker

  • Where can you scare up names like them among your mudsill folks?

  • He was skillful with his hands, and must therefore be a "mudsill."

Word Origin and History for mudsill


1680s, "lowest sill of a house," from mud + sill. The word entered U.S. political history in a speech by James M. Hammond of South Carolina, March 4, 1858, in U.S. Senate, alluding scornfully to the very mudsills of society, and the term subsequently was embraced by Northern workers in the pre-Civil War sectional rivalry.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper