Meaning of SOIL in English

SOIL

/ sɔɪl; NAmE / noun , verb

■ noun [ U , C ]

1.

the top layer of the earth in which plants, trees, etc. grow :

poor / dry / acid / sandy / fertile, etc. soil

the study of rocks and soils

soil erosion

2.

( literary ) a country; an area of land :

It was the first time I had set foot on African soil.

➡ note at floor

■ verb

[ vn ] [ often passive ] ( formal ) to make sth dirty :

soiled linen

( figurative )

I don't want you soiling your hands with this sort of work (= doing sth unpleasant or wrong) .

—see also shop-soiled

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SYNONYMS

soil

mud ♦ clay ♦ land ♦ earth ♦ dirt ♦ ground

These are all words for the top layer of the earth in which plants grow.

soil

the top layer of the earth in which plants grow:

Plant the seedlings in damp soil.

mud

wet soil that is soft and sticky:

The car wheels got stuck in the mud.

clay

a type of heavy sticky soil that becomes hard when it is baked and is used to make things such as pots and bricks:

The tiles are made of clay.

land

an area of ground, especially of a particular type:

an area of rich, fertile land

earth

the substance that plants grow in.

NOTE

Earth is often used about the soil found in gardens or used for gardening:

She put some earth into the pot.

dirt

( especially NAmE ) soil, especially loose soil:

Pack the dirt firmly around the plants.

ground

an area of soil:

The car got stuck in the muddy ground.

They drove across miles of rough, stony ground.

NOTE

Ground is not used for loose soil: a handful of dry ground

PATTERNS AND COLLOCATIONS :

good / rich soil / land / earth

fertile / infertile soil / land / ground

to dig the soil / land / earth / ground

to cultivate the soil / land / earth / ground

a lump of soil / mud / clay / earth

a piece of clay / land / earth / ground

a plot of land / ground

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WORD ORIGIN

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

verb Middle English (as a verb): from Old French soiller , based on Latin sucula , diminutive of sus pig.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.