soil

2
[soil]
verb (used with object)
  1. to make unclean, dirty, or filthy, especially on the surface: to soil one's clothes.
  2. to smirch, smudge, or stain: The ink soiled his hands.
  3. to sully or tarnish, as with disgrace; defile morally: to soil one's good name.
verb (used without object)
  1. to become soiled: White soils easily.
noun
  1. the act or fact of soiling.
  2. the state of being soiled.
  3. a spot, mark, or stain.
  4. dirty or foul matter; filth; sewage.
  5. ordure; manure.

Origin of soil

2
1175–1225; Middle English soilen (v.) < Old French souiller, soillier to dirty < Vulgar Latin *suculāre, equivalent to sū(s) pig + -cul(us) -cle1 + -āre infinitive ending

Synonyms for soil

soil

3
[soil]
verb (used with object)
  1. to feed (confined cattle, horses, etc.) freshly cut green fodder for roughage.

Origin of soil

3
First recorded in 1595–1605; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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Contemporary Examples of soiling

Historical Examples of soiling


British Dictionary definitions for soiling

soil

1
noun
  1. the top layer of the land surface of the earth that is composed of disintegrated rock particles, humus, water, and airSee zonal soil, azonal soil, intrazonal soil, horizon (def. 4), horizon (def. 5) Related adjective: telluric
  2. a type of this material having specific characteristicsloamy soil
  3. land, country, or regionone's native soil
  4. the soil life and work on a farm; landhe belonged to the soil, as his forefathers had
  5. any place or thing encouraging growth or development

Word Origin for soil

C14: from Anglo-Norman, from Latin solium a seat, but confused with Latin solum the ground

soil

2
verb
  1. to make or become dirty or stained
  2. (tr) to pollute with sin or disgrace; sully; defilehe soiled the family honour by his cowardice
noun
  1. the state or result of soiling
  2. refuse, manure, or excrement

Word Origin for soil

C13: from Old French soillier to defile, from soil pigsty, probably from Latin sūs a swine

soil

3
verb
  1. (tr) to feed (livestock) freshly cut green fodder either to fatten or purge them

Word Origin for soil

C17: perhaps from obsolete vb (C16) soil to manure, from soil ² (n)
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 soiling

soil

v.

early 13c., "to defile or pollute with sin," from Old French soillier "to splatter with mud, to foul or make dirty," originally "to wallow" (12c., Modern French souillier), from souil "tub, wild boar's wallow, pigsty," which is from either Latin solium "tub for bathing; seat," or Latin suculus "little pig," from sus "pig." Literal meaning "to make dirty, begrime" is attested from c.1300 in English. Related: Soiled; soiling.

soil

n.1

c.1300, originally "land, area, place," from Anglo-French soil "piece of ground, place" (13c.), from an merger or confusion of Old French sol "bottom, ground, soil" (12c., from Latin solum "soil, ground;" see sole (n.1)), Old French soeul, sueil "threshold, area, place" (from Latin solium "seat"), and Old French soil, soille "a miry place," from soillier (see soil (v.)).

Meaning "place of one's nativity" is from c.1400. Meaning "mould, earth, dirt" (especially that which plants grow in) is attested from mid-15c.

soil

n.2

"filth, dirt, refuse matter, sewage, liquid likely to contain excrement," c.1600, earlier "miry or muddy place" (early 15c.), from Old French soille "miry place," from soillier (v.) "to make dirty," and in part a native formation from soil (v.). This is the sense in archaic night-soil.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

soiling in Science

soil

[soil]
  1. The loose top layer of the Earth's surface, consisting of rock and mineral particles mixed with decayed organic matter (humus), and capable of retaining water, providing nutrients for plants, and supporting a wide range of biotic communities. Soil is formed by a combination of depositional, chemical, and biological processes and plays an important role in the carbon, nitrogen, and hydrologic cycles. Soil types vary widely from one region to another, depending on the type of bedrock they overlie and the climate in which they form. In wet and humid regions, for example, soils tend to be thicker than they do in dry regions. See more at A horizon B horizon C horizon. See illustration at ABC soil.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

soiling in Culture

soil

Material on the surface of the Earth on which plants can grow. (See topsoil.)

Note

Soil is produced by the weathering of rocks.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.