[ silt ]
See synonyms for silt on
  1. earthy matter, fine sand, or the like carried by moving or running water and deposited as a sediment.

verb (used without object)
  1. to become filled or choked up with silt.

verb (used with object)
  1. to fill or choke up with silt.

Origin of silt

1400–50; late Middle English cylte gravel, perhaps originally salty deposit; compare Old English unsylt unsalted, unseasoned, sylting seasoning, syltan to salt, season, Norwegian sylt salty swamp, German Sülze salt marsh, brine

Other words from silt

  • sil·ta·tion, noun
  • silty, adjective
  • de·silt, verb (used with object)

Words that may be confused with silt Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use silt in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for silt


/ (sɪlt) /

  1. a fine deposit of mud, clay, etc, esp one in a river or lake

  1. (usually foll by up) to fill or become filled with silt; choke

Origin of silt

C15: of Scandinavian origin; compare Norwegian, Danish sylt salt marsh; related to Old High German sulza salt marsh; see salt

Derived forms of silt

  • siltation, noun
  • silty, adjective

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

Scientific definitions for silt


[ sĭlt ]

  1. A sedimentary material consisting of grains or particles of disintegrated rock, smaller than sand and larger than clay. The diameter of the particles ranges from 0.0039 to 0.0625 mm. Silt is often found at the bottom of bodies of water where it accumulates slowly by settling through the water.

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