Definition of sediment in US English:



  • 1Matter that settles to the bottom of a liquid; dregs.

    • ‘Look for a British beer with visible yeast sediment in the bottom of the bottle.’
    • ‘First stand the wine upright for a day or two, so all the sediment sinks to the bottom of the bottle.’
    • ‘There was a lot of sediment at the bottom of the glass, but the wine waiter told us this was a sign of a good wine.’
    • ‘Serious restaurants will use crystal stemware of sufficient size to allow swirling and sniffing, and decanters should also be available for young wines in need of oxidation or old wines with sediment.’
    • ‘The sediment will settle in a thick layer at the bottom.’
    • ‘Discard the sediment at the bottom of the drained container.’
    • ‘Ideally, red and fortified wines should stand upright for about a week before the event to adjust slowly to the increased temperature and to enable any sediment to settle at the bottom of the bottle.’
    • ‘I had no choice but to wait for the sediment to settle.’
    • ‘It contains no spices and leaves a little sediment in the bottom of the cup.’
    • ‘Pour into eight clean plastic soft drink bottles, stirring the mix often as the sediment settles quickly.’
    • ‘Just be sure to strain it first through a coffee filter to remove any remaining dirt or sediment.’
    • ‘Fill a jug and leave it to stand until the sediment has settled, then use the clear water at the top.’
    • ‘My wife claims that disturbed sediment in wines affects taste as well as appearance.’
    • ‘The wine is cleared of sediment and bottled under pressure, directly from the tank.’
    • ‘Fry these until just colouring and loosening the sediment from the bottom of the pan.’
    • ‘The result is a clear, gluggable, star-bright jug of wine - and the contents of the glass can be swigged too, once the sediment has settled.’
    dregs, lees, deposit, grounds, settlings, residue, remains, accumulation, silt, sludge, alluvium
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Geology Particulate matter that is carried by water or wind and deposited on the surface of the land or the bottom of a body of water, and may in time become consolidated into rock.
      • ‘Most coarse-grained clastic sediment that is deposited in turbidite basins is either derived from alluvial basins or shallow marine shelves.’
      • ‘Areas of overlying sandy sediments were removed to expose the fossiliferous clay.’
      • ‘The proportion of coarse sediment deposited in the plot drains increased with larger storms.’
      • ‘The generally immature nature of the palaeosols indicates that most vegetation colonized newly deposited fluvial sediments.’
      • ‘Siliciclastic sediment is supplemented by skeletal debris of biological origin or by biochemically extracted calcium carbonate.’


[no object]
  • 1Settle as sediment.

    • ‘Another method was to allow the powder to sediment out of a viscous solution of gum arabic, leaving only the very finest particles in suspension.’
    • ‘The solution was allowed to sediment for 24 h and the particles left in suspension were drawn off with a syringe and used for perfusions.’
    • ‘Throughout the two protocols described below, cells were allowed to sediment between each step.’
    • ‘Proteins will sediment through a solution in a centrifugal field dependent upon their mass.’
    1. 1.1 (of a liquid) deposit a sediment.
    2. 1.2with object Deposit (something) as a sediment.
      ‘the DNA was sedimented by centrifugation’
      ‘sedimented waste’
      • ‘The cell suspension was collected in an Eppendorf tube and sedimented by gentle centrifugation.’
      • ‘Such nuclear suspension was sedimented by gentle centrifugation, the enzyme solution was decanted, and the nuclear pellet was resuspended in 1 x PBS buffer.’
      • ‘Cellular components were sedimented by centrifugation at 4 [degrees] C, 500 xg for 10 min.’
      • ‘Sputum cells were sedimented by centrifugation at 400 × g for 10 minutes.’
      • ‘Pollen was sedimented by centrifugation at 100 g for 2 min and the excess sucrose drawn off by pipette.’
      • ‘After 1 min of extraction, cells were sedimented and the supernatant was decanted.’
      • ‘For the routine measurements of Chl concentration, the cells were sedimented by centrifugation and extracted with 100% methanol.’
      • ‘The membranes were sedimented at 24,000 g for 20 min.’
      • ‘The homogenized muscle was sedimented at 5000 g for 5 min.’
      • ‘After the respective diffusion time, sporopollenin capsules were sedimented by centrifugation.’
      • ‘This complex was sedimented by centrifugation at 10 000 g for 2 min.’


Mid 16th century: from French sédiment or Latin sedimentum ‘settling’, from sedere ‘sit’.