One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A deposit of clay, silt, and sand left by flowing floodwater in a river valley or delta, typically producing fertile soil.
mud, muck, mire, ooze, silt, dirt, slime, slush, slurryView synonyms
- ‘In the east, which is lower and flatter, river gravels and alluvium from the North Sea have produced dark, rich soils.’
- ‘The measured soil parameters at the sites were within the normal range for bottomland hardwood soils of Mississippi River alluvium.’
- ‘Many vineyards are located on valley bottoms underlain by alluvium which can provide deep, free-draining soils of variable grain size.’
- ‘The upper region of the Camargue, blessed with rich alluvium soil, has been cultivated since the Middle Ages.’
- ‘Some of these low-lying areas, with waterlogged deposits blanketed by alluvium, have provided good evidence for Roman farming.’
Mid 17th century: Latin, neuter of alluvius ‘washed against’, from ad- ‘towards’ + luere ‘to wash’.
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