[ noun sed-uh-muh nt; verb sed-uh-ment ]
/ noun ˈsɛd ə mənt; verb ˈsɛd əˌmɛnt /


the matter that settles to the bottom of a liquid; lees; dregs.
Geology. mineral or organic matter deposited by water, air, or ice.

verb (used with object)

to deposit as sediment.

verb (used without object)

to form or deposit sediment.

Origin of sediment

1540–50; < Latin sedimentum, equivalent to sedi- (combining form of sedēre to sit1, settle) + -mentum -ment

Related forms

sed·i·men·tous, adjectiveself-sed·i·ment·ed, adjective

Can be confused

sand sediment silt Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sediment

British Dictionary definitions for sediment


/ (ˈsɛdɪmənt) /


matter that settles to the bottom of a liquid
material that has been deposited from water, ice, or wind

Derived Forms

sedimentous (ˌsɛdɪˈmɛntəs), adjective

Word Origin for sediment

C16: from Latin sedimentum a settling, from sedēre to sit
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

Medicine definitions for sediment


[ sĕdə-mənt ]


Insoluble material that sinks to the bottom of a liquid, as in hypostasis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for sediment


[ sĕdə-mənt ]

Geology Solid fragmented material, such as silt, sand, gravel, chemical precipitates, and fossil fragments, that is transported and deposited by water, ice, or wind or that accumulates through chemical precipitation or secretion by organisms, and that forms layers on the Earth's surface. Sedimentary rocks consist of consolidated sediment.
Particles of solid matter that settle out of a suspension to the bottom of the liquid.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.