[ sahy-loh ]
See synonyms for silo on
noun,plural si·los.
  1. a structure, typically cylindrical, in which fodder or forage is kept: The dairy farm's two biggest buildings were the barn and the silo full of feed for the cows.

  2. a pit or underground space for storing grain, green feeds, etc.

  1. Military. an underground installation constructed of concrete and steel, designed to house a ballistic missile and the equipment for firing it.

  2. a group, unit, enterprise, etc., that is isolated from others or functions independently, typically viewed as not deriving the benefits of interrelationships or collaboration: Fundraising department silos happen when different teams don't share their ideas and plans.

  3. Also called da·ta si·lo [dey-tuh-sahy-loh, dat-uh], /ˈdeɪ tə ˌsaɪ loʊ, ˈdæt ə/, in·for·ma·tion si·lo [in-fer-mey-shuhn sahy-loh]. /ˌɪn fərˈmeɪ ʃən ˌsaɪ loʊ/. Computers. an unintegrated data repository that cannot share its stored data with other systems, subsystems, or applications: When an organization deploys a stand-alone solution to improve operations, it risks creating a data silo that may present difficulties when trying to scale throughout the enterprise.

verb (used with object),si·loed, si·lo·ing.
  1. to put into or preserve in a silo, as fodder, grain, or missiles.

  2. to separate or isolate (a group, unit, enterprise, etc.) from others: We Americans are now more sheltered and siloed in our sources of news than ever before.

Origin of silo

First recorded in 1825–35; from Spanish: “place for storing grain, hay, etc.,” originally, “subterranean”; further origin uncertain

Words Nearby silo Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use silo in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for silo


/ (ˈsaɪləʊ) /

nounplural -los
  1. a pit, trench, horizontal container, or tower, often cylindrical in shape, in which silage is made and stored

  2. a strengthened underground position in which missile systems are sited for protection against attack

Origin of silo

C19: from Spanish, perhaps from Celtic

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