Definition of gley in US English:



Soil Science
  • A sticky waterlogged soil lacking in oxygen, typically gray to blue in color.

    ‘an overlying bed of cemented gley’
    count noun ‘the soils are predominantly peaty gleys’
    • ‘Seasonal water-table variation is invoked to account for the formation of characteristic gley soils.’
    • ‘The mottling does not have the classic red and grey colours of gley soils, typically formed in waterlogged soils.’
    • ‘There is no record of more humid climate indicators (e.g. coals, gley sols, etc.).’
    • ‘The names used - gley podsol, for example - are not in common use and are difficult to define in a few words.’


1920s: from Ukrainian, ‘sticky blue clay’; related to clay.