- 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 [count noun]: rotary cultivators are ideal, particularly on difficult soilsMore 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.
- 1.1The territory of a particular nation: the stationing of US troops on Japanese soilMore 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.
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- A soil-less technique eliminates the heaviest part of a garden - namely, the soil - and is relatively easy to set up using store-bought basins or recycled materials.
- Hole recommends choosing a high quality potting soil, which is actually a soil-less mix, to keep things as simple as possible.
- The plants were grown in pots using a soil-less compost of peat and sand.
late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French, perhaps representing Latin solium 'seat', by association with solum 'ground'.
- 1Make dirty: he might soil his expensive suit (as adjective soiled) a soiled T-shirtMore 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.
- 1.1Make dirty by defecating in or on.More 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.
noun[mass noun] Back to top
- 1Waste matter, especially sewage containing excrement. See also night soil.More 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.
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.
verb[with object] • rare
- Feed (cattle) on fresh-cut green fodder (originally for the purpose of purging them).More 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.
early 17th century: perhaps from soil2.