a black, carbonaceous substance produced during incomplete combustion of coal, wood, oil, etc., rising in fine particles and adhering to the sides of the chimney or pipe conveying the smoke: also conveyed in the atmosphere to other locations.
verb (used with object)
to mark, cover, or treat with soot.
Origin of soot
before 900;Middle English;Old Englishsōt; cognate with Old Norsesōt
Related formssoot·less, adjectivesoot·like, adjective
Old English sot "soot," from Proto-Germanic *sotam "soot" (cf. Old Norse sot, Old Dutch soet, North Frisian sutt), literally "what settles," from PIE *sod-o- (cf. Old Church Slavonic sažda, Lithuanian suodžiai, Old Irish suide, Breton huzel "soot"), suffixed form of root *sed- (1) "to sit" (see sedentary).
A black, powdery substance that consists mainly of carbon and is formed through the incomplete combustion of wood, coal, diesel oil, or other materials. Because it absorbs energy from sunlight rather than reflecting it, soot is believed to be a cause of global warming, especially when it settles on snow and ice, reducing their reflectivity. Soot particles in the air are a contributing factor in respiratory diseases.