Meaning of SOIL in English


I. ˈsȯil, esp before pause or consonant -ȯiəl verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English soilen, from Old French soiller, souiller to wallow, soil, from soil pigsty, boar's wallow, probably from Latin suile pigsty, from sus pig — more at sow

transitive verb

1. : to stain or defile morally : corrupt , pollute

why soil their ears with nasty knowledge — C.W.Cunnington

soil one's mind with such paltry thoughts — Van Wyck Brooks

2. : to make unclean especially superficially : dirty 1, smudge , spot

soil a rug

a paste that soils the hands

his shoes … were soiled now from the clay of the airfield — Kay Boyle

the majestic river … soiled with garbage — Herbert Agar

3. : to blacken or besmirch (as a person's reputation or honor) by word or deed : give a bad name to : sully , disgrace

what hath she done, prince, that can soil our mothers — Shakespeare

4. chiefly Britain : to paint (as a pipe) with plumber's soil

intransitive verb


a. : to wallow in mud — used especially of a deer or wild boar

b. : to take refuge in water or in a marsh — used of hunted game


a. : to become soiled or dirty

this fabric soils easily

b. : to defecate involuntarily

patients also showed infantile reactions … continually wetting and soiling — Digest of Neurology & Psychiatry

II. noun

( -s )


a. : the action of soiling or the condition of being soiled : soilage 1, stain , spot

protect a dress from soil

hands free from soil

finger marks or any other kind of soil — New Yorker

b. : moral defilement : corruption

disburdening herself of the soil of worldly frailties — Nathaniel Hawthorne

2. : something that soils or pollutes: as

a. : foreign matter : refuse

metal surfaces … filled with all types of soil — R.E.Marce

b. : sewage

conduits to carry away the soil

c. : dung , excrement

3. : plumber's soil

III. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin solium seat (influenced in meaning by Latin solum base, floor, ground, soil); probably akin to Latin sedēre to sit — more at sit

1. : firm land : earth , ground

underfoot the divine soil , overhead the sun — Walt Whitman

she was as brown as the very soil itself — Pearl Buck


a. : the upper layer of earth that may be dug or plowed ; specifically : the loose surface material of the earth in which plants grow usually consisting of disintegrated rock with an admixture of organic matter and soluble salts — see humus , nitrification

b. : the surface earth of a particular place with reference especially to its composition or its adaptability (as for the farmer, builder, or engineer)

sandy soil

fertile soil

a rich soil

a soil deficient in alkali

3. : country , land

seek your hero in a distant soil — Thomas Gray

left his native soil never to return


a. : cultivated or tilled ground

works on the soil

b. : the agricultural life or calling

a son of the soil

felt a closeness to the soil

5. : a medium in which something takes hold and develops

countries where such misery exists are fertile soil for Communist infiltration — New York Times Magazine

psychiatry flourished in the soil of curiosity — R.S.Ellery

IV. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English soyle boar's wallow, small pond, from Middle French soil, souille boar's wallow — more at soil I

: a tract of water (as a marsh or pool) in which hunted animals take refuge from their pursuers : refuge , sanctuary — used chiefly in the phrases run to soil, go to soil, take soil

V. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: origin unknown

1. : to feed (livestock) in the barn or an enclosure with fresh grass or green food : fatten

2. : to purge (livestock) by feeding on green food

VI. noun

( -s )

: soilage

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.