There are 3 main definitions of soil in English:

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soil1

Syllabification: soil
Pronunciation: /soil
 
/

noun

1The upper layer of earth in which plants grow, a black or dark brown material typically consisting of a mixture of organic remains, clay, and rock particles: blueberries need very acid soil figurative the Garden State has provided fertile soil for the specialty beer market
More example sentences
  • Bacteria and insects break down organic material to produce soil and nutrients so plants can grow.
  • This drainage system is made up of a lower layer of rough, nonporous material and an upper layer of porous soil and sand.
  • Instead, farmers rely on developing a healthy, fertile soil and growing a mixture of crops.
Synonyms
1.1The territory of a particular nation: the stationing of U.S. troops on Japanese soil
More example sentences
  • England had not tasted defeat in the Five / Six nations championship on home soil since 1997.
  • RAF Elvington became quite literally a French enclave, a foreign territory on Yorkshire soil and the only one of its kind in Britain.
  • Opposition politicians say the mission violates a constitutional clause which restricts foreign combat troops on sovereign soil.
Synonyms
territory, land, domain, dominion, region, country

Origin

late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French, perhaps representing Latin solium 'seat', by association with solum 'ground'.

More
  • You might think that soil meaning ‘earth’ and soil meaning ‘to make dirty’ are linked, but they are quite distinct words. When you use the noun to refer to ‘home soil’ or ‘foreign soil’ you are using the word in its original sense. It came from Old French and once referred to a land or country: ‘The man who with undaunted toils / Sails unknown seas, to unknown soils’ (John Gay, 1727). It could also refer to the ground, and later to the layer of earth that plants grow in. The verb soil, ‘to make dirty’, comes from Old French soiller, which was based on Latin sucula ‘a little pig’. Pigs are not as dirty as their reputation suggests, but there is presumably the idea of making a place into a pigsty behind the use of the English word.

Derivatives

soilless

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • A good soilless mix is made up of 3 parts sphagnum peat moss, 2 parts vermiculite, and 1 part perlite, with some lime added to balance the acidity of the peat moss.
  • I fill each pot about one-third full of the soilless mixture, then add the recommended amount of fertilizer granules, mixing it thoroughly with the soil.
  • As side shoots develop, prune back old branches to where new growth starts, and repot with fresh soilless potting mix.

Words that rhyme with soil

boil, Boyle, broil, coil, Dáil, Doyle, embroil, Fianna Fáil, foil, Hoyle, moil, noil, oil, roil, Royle, spoil, toil, voile

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There are 3 main definitions of soil in English:

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soil2

Syllabification: soil
Pronunciation: /soil
 
/

verb

[with object]
1Make dirty: he might soil his expensive suit (as adjective soiled) a soiled T-shirt
More example sentences
  • DNA tests can be soiled, fingerprints smudged, and so on.
  • His orange suit was soiled by slimy machine oil, but he didn't mind the mess.
  • In New Delhi, India, it is smog that hangs over the city, pollution that literally soils everything it touches and makes many people sick.
Synonyms
dirty, stain, splash, spot, spatter, splatter, smear, smudge, sully, spoil, foul
literary begrime
1.1(Especially of a child, patient, or pet) make (something) dirty by defecating in or on it.
Example sentences
  • In one study, 63 percent of children with constipation and soiling had painful defecation that began before three years of age.
  • The day I met him, his dirty t-shirt and soiled pants revealed that he was living on the streets.
  • His face was dirty and streaked from tears and his pants were soiled.
1.2Bring discredit to; tarnish: what good is there in soiling your daughter’s reputation?
More example sentences
  • Despite being destined from the early stages to win at a canter, they spoiled and soiled their display with a series of other cynical acts.
  • When you return the advances, they act as if you're soiled and spoiled.
  • The opening scene is an interview - about the wretchedness of conditions in the theatre, poking fun at the cumbersome bureaucracy which soils it.
Synonyms
dishonor, damage, sully, stain, blacken, tarnish, taint, blemish, defile, blot, smear, drag through the mud
literary besmirch

noun

Back to top  
1Waste matter, especially sewage containing excrement. See also night soil.
Example sentences
  • Hazardous waste includes contaminated soil, paint, solvent residues, asbestos and highly acidic and alkaline solids.
  • Railways were built for access and for the removal of waste soil.
  • Only when the specialists had cleared an area were general contractors allowed to dig deeper and take waste soil to Oldham.
1.1 archaic A stain or discoloring mark.

Origin

Middle English (as a verb): from Old French soiller, based on Latin sucula, diminutive of sus 'pig'. The earliest use of the noun ( late Middle English) was 'muddy wallow for wild boar'; current noun senses date from the early 16th century.

More
  • You might think that soil meaning ‘earth’ and soil meaning ‘to make dirty’ are linked, but they are quite distinct words. When you use the noun to refer to ‘home soil’ or ‘foreign soil’ you are using the word in its original sense. It came from Old French and once referred to a land or country: ‘The man who with undaunted toils / Sails unknown seas, to unknown soils’ (John Gay, 1727). It could also refer to the ground, and later to the layer of earth that plants grow in. The verb soil, ‘to make dirty’, comes from Old French soiller, which was based on Latin sucula ‘a little pig’. Pigs are not as dirty as their reputation suggests, but there is presumably the idea of making a place into a pigsty behind the use of the English word.

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There are 3 main definitions of soil in English:

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soil3

Syllabification: soil
Pronunciation: /soil
 
/

verb

[with object] rare
Feed (cattle) on fresh-cut green fodder (originally for the purpose of purging them).
Example sentences
  • Indian corn makes an exceedingly valuable fodder, both as a means of carrying a herd of milch cows through our severe droughts of summer, and as an article for soiling cows kept in the stall.
  • But, wherever these vigorous plants can be grown successfully, it is easy to obtain from them large quantities of fodder, both for soiling cattle in summer and for making hay against the winter's need, and this at comparatively small cost for labor and manure.

Origin

early 17th century: perhaps from soil2.

More
  • You might think that soil meaning ‘earth’ and soil meaning ‘to make dirty’ are linked, but they are quite distinct words. When you use the noun to refer to ‘home soil’ or ‘foreign soil’ you are using the word in its original sense. It came from Old French and once referred to a land or country: ‘The man who with undaunted toils / Sails unknown seas, to unknown soils’ (John Gay, 1727). It could also refer to the ground, and later to the layer of earth that plants grow in. The verb soil, ‘to make dirty’, comes from Old French soiller, which was based on Latin sucula ‘a little pig’. Pigs are not as dirty as their reputation suggests, but there is presumably the idea of making a place into a pigsty behind the use of the English word.

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