earthy matter, fine sand, or the like carried by moving or running water and deposited as a sediment.

verb (used without object)

to become filled or choked up with silt.

verb (used with object)

to fill or choke up with silt.

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

Examples from the Web for silting

Historical Examples of silting

  • This then so far shows that there is a silting forward of the land.

  • Intrigue, and riot, and suppression, and the silting up of the Zwyn were driving trade from Bruges.

    The Story of Bruges

    Ernest Gilliat-Smith

  • Bruges, however, had now ceased to be the central market and exchange of Europe, owing to the silting up of the river Zwijn.

    History of Holland

    George Edmundson

  • The Laguna Madre has become dried up, however, due to the silting up of its channels.


    Charles Reginald Enock

  • Outside the rain swept steadily against the glass with a soft, silting sound.


    Arthur Cheny Train

British Dictionary definitions for silting



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


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



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.)).



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

silting in Science



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.