• synonyms


  1. earthy matter, fine sand, or the like carried by moving or running water and deposited as a sediment.
Show More
verb (used without object)
  1. to become filled or choked up with silt.
Show More
verb (used with object)
  1. to fill or choke up with silt.
Show More

Origin of silt

1400–50; late Middle English cylte gravel, perhaps orig. salty deposit; compare Old English unsylt unsalted, unseasoned, sylting seasoning, syltan to salt, season, Norwegian sylt salty swamp, German Sülze salt marsh, brine
Related formssil·ta·tion, nounsilt·y, adjectivede·silt, verb (used with object)
Can be confusedsand sediment silt
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for silted

Historical Examples of silted

  • At the bar where the sand has silted, a few steamers were lying.

    In Mesopotamia

    Martin Swayne

  • I allude only to the head of Glen Roy and Kilfinnin as silted up.

  • It has been silted up by sand and unburied again; it has been worshipped and hated.

  • A number of lakes then existed which have since been silted up.

  • These heavy sands are language tide and wind have silted here.


    James Joyce

British Dictionary definitions for silted


  1. a fine deposit of mud, clay, etc, esp one in a river or lake
Show More
  1. (usually foll by up) to fill or become filled with silt; choke
Show More
Derived Formssiltation, nounsilty, adjective

Word Origin for silt

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



mid-15c., originally "sediment deposited by seawater," probably from a Scandinavian source (cf. Norwegian and Danish sylt "salt marsh"), or from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch silte, sulte "salt marsh, brine," from Proto-Germanic *sultjo- (cf. Old English sealt, Old High German sulza "saltwater," German Sulze "brine"), from PIE *sal- (see salt (n.)).

Show More



"to become choked with silt" (of river channels, harbors, etc.), 1799, from silt (n.). Related: Silted; silting.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

silted in Science


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