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Ss sluice2.jpg
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From early modern Dutch sluis (sluice), from Middle Dutch sluse (sluice), from Old Dutch slusa, from Late Latin sclusa, from Late Latin exclusa, from Latin exclūsus, form of exclūdō (I shut out, I exclude) (English exclude).



sluice (plural sluices)

  1. An artificial passage for water, fitted with a valve or gate, as in a mill stream, for stopping or regulating the flow; also, a water gate or flood gate.
  2. Hence, an opening or channel through which anything flows; a source of supply.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Harte
      Each sluice of affluent fortune opened soon.
    • (Can we date this quote?) I. Taylor
      This home familiarity [] opens the sluices of sensibility.
  3. The stream flowing through a flood gate.
  4. (mining) A long box or trough through which water flows, used for washing auriferous earth.
  5. (linguistics) An instance of wh-stranding ellipsis, or sluicing.

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sluicing at a mine

sluice (third-person singular simple present sluices, present participle sluicing, simple past and past participle sluiced)

  1. (rare) To emit by, or as by, flood gates.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Milton to this entry?)
  2. To wet copiously, as by opening a sluice; as, to sluice meadows.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Howitt to this entry?)
    • (Can we date this quote?) De Quincey
      He dried his neck and face, which he had been sluicing with cold water.
  3. To wash with, or in, a stream of water running through a sluice.
    to sluice earth or gold dust in a sluice box in placer mining
  4. (linguistics) To elide the C` in a coordinated wh-question. See sluicing.

Coordinate terms[edit]

  • (washing in mining): pan