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silo

[sahy-loh]
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noun, plural si·los.
  1. a structure, typically cylindrical, in which fodder or forage is kept.
  2. a pit or underground space for storing grain, green feeds, etc.
  3. Military. an underground installation constructed of concrete and steel, designed to house a ballistic missile and the equipment for firing it.
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verb (used with object), si·loed, si·lo·ing.
  1. to put into or preserve in a silo.
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Origin of silo

1825–35; < Spanish: place for storing grain, hay, etc., orig. subterranean; ulterior origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

cellargranarystorehousesilowarehousedepotsafearsenalmagazinedepositoryvaultarchivestockroomrepositoryarmorybarncacherepertorystore

Examples from the Web for silo

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "It's lucky harvest will be over; silo filling, too," was his only comment.

    Dust

    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • If he does not have a silo, some other food can be used in place of the ensilage.

    Agriculture for Beginners

    Charles William Burkett

  • Like as not they will be wanting to take me to Hastings because I have built a silo; and then I may take you with me.

    O Pioneers!

    Willa Cather

  • When used for mixing with corn in a silo, the self-binder is satisfactory.

  • Best methods of building the silo, filling it and feeding ensilage.

    Your Plants

    James Sheehan


British Dictionary definitions for silo

silo

noun plural -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
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Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for silo

n.

1835, from Spanish silo, traditionally derived from Latin sirum (nominative sirus), from Greek siros "a pit to keep corn in." "The change from r to l in Spanish is abnormal and Greek siros was a rare foreign term peculiar to regions of Asia Minor and not likely to emerge in Castilian Spain" [Barnhart]. Alternatively, the Spanish word is from a pre-Roman Iberian language word represented by Basque zilo, zulo "dugout, cave or shelter for keeping grain." Meaning "underground housing and launch tube for a guided missile" is attested from 1958.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper