silt (n.)

mid-15c., "fine sand or sediment deposited by seawater," probably from a Scandinavian source (compare Norwegian and Danish sylt "salt marsh," Old Swedish sylta "mud"), or from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch silte, sulte "salt marsh, brine," from Proto-Germanic *sultjo- (source also of Old English sealt, Old High German sulza "saltwater," German Sulze "brine"), from PIE root *sal- "salt."

The general sense of "mud or fine soil from running or standing water" is by 1690s.

silt (v.)

1799, intransitive, "to become choked with silt" (of river channels, harbors, etc.), usually with up (adv.); by 1825 in the intransitive sense of "choke, fill, or obstruct with silt;" from silt (n.). Related: Silted; silting.

updated on October 27, 2022