Meaning of SOIL in English
I. soil 1 W2 /sɔɪl/ BrE AmE noun
[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Anglo-French ; Origin: 'piece of ground' , from Latin solium 'seat' ; influenced by Latin solum 'ground, soil' ]
1 . [uncountable and countable] the top layer of the earth in which plants grow SYN earth :
fertile soil (=good for growing crops)
The soil here is very poor (=not good for growing crops) .
Roses grow well in a clay soil.
2 . on British/French/foreign etc soil formal in Britain, France etc:
The crime was committed on American soil.
3 . [uncountable] a place or situation where something can develop:
Eastern Europe provided fertile soil for political activists.
4 . sb’s native soil literary your own country
5 . the soil literary farming as a job or way of life:
They make their living from the soil.
• • •
■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + soil
▪ good/rich/fertile (=good for growing plants)
The fertile soil produces delicious wines.
▪ poor (=not good for growing plants)
If the soil is poor, add manure or compost.
The soil near the river is rich and deep.
▪ thin (=not deep)
The thin soil is easily washed away.
Keep the soil moist.
The soil was dry after three weeks without rain.
▪ light/sandy (=containing a lot of sand)
Some plants prefer sandy soils.
▪ heavy/clay (=containing a lot of clay)
The soil was too heavy to grow decent carrots.
▪ well-drained (=letting water pass through easily)
Plant the seedlings out in a warm, sunny position in well-drained soil.
Blueberries need acid soil.
▪ garden soil
Try planting them in compost rather than garden soil.
▪ work the soil (=prepare the soil to grow plants)
They worked the soil with hoes and forks.
▪ till the soil (=prepare the soil to grow crops)
Their time is spent in constantly tilling the soil.
• • •
▪ soil the top layer of the earth that plants grow in:
Roses do best in well-drained, slightly acid soil.
▪ earth the brown substance that the ground is made up of:
Thousands of tons of earth were moved to build the dam.
▪ dirt American English loose dry earth:
a pile of loose dirt in the wheelbarrow
▪ dust a dry powder made up of extremely small bits of earth or sand:
A cloud of dust billowed out behind the tractor.
▪ mud wet soil that has become soft and sticky:
The dog came back covered in mud.
II. soil 2 BrE AmE verb [transitive]
[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: soiller , from soil 'pigsty' , probably from Latin suile , from sus 'pig' ]
1 . formal to make something dirty, especially with waste from your body
2 . not soil your hands to not do something because you consider it too unpleasant or dishonest:
Keep your money – I wouldn’t soil my hands with it.
—soiled adjective :
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman - Словарь современного английского языка. 2012