Etymology 1 
From Middle English soile, soyle, sule (“ground, earth”), partly from Anglo-Norman soyl (“bottom, ground, pavement”), from Latin solium (“seat, threshold, place”), mistaken for Latin solum (“ground, foundation, earth, sole of the foot”); and partly from Old English sol (“mud, mire, wet sand”), from Proto-Germanic *sulą (“mud, spot”), from Proto-Indo-European *sūl- (“thick liquid”). Cognate with Middle Low German söle (“dirt, mud”), Middle Dutch sol (“dirt, filth”), Middle High German sol, söl (“dirt, mud, mire”), Danish søle (“mud, muck”). See also sole, soal.
- (uncountable) A mixture of sand and organic material, used to support plant growth.
- (uncountable) The unconsolidated mineral or organic material on the immediate surface of the earth that serves as a natural medium for the growth of land plants.
- (uncountable) The unconsolidated mineral or organic matter on the surface of the earth that has been subjected to and shows effects of genetic and environmental factors of: climate (including water and temperature effects), and macro- and microorganisms, conditioned by relief, acting on parent material over a period of time. A product-soil differs from the material from which it is derived in many physical, chemical, biological, and morphological properties and characteristics.
- Country or territory.
- The refugees returned to their native soil.
- That which soils or pollutes; a stain.
- A lady's honour […] will not bear a soil.
Derived terms 
Related terms 
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See also 
Etymology 2 
From Middle English soilen, soulen, suylen (“to sully, make dirty”), partly from Old French soillier, souillier (“to soil, make dirty, wallow in mire”), from Old Frankish *sauljan, *sulljan (“to make dirty, soil”); partly from Old English solian, sylian (“to soil, make dirty”), from Proto-Germanic *sulwōną, *sulwijaną, *saulijaną (“to soil, make dirty”), from Proto-Indo-European *sūl- (“thick liquid”). Cognate with Old Saxon sulian (“to soil, mire”), Middle Dutch soluwen, seulewen (“to soil, besmirch”), Old High German solagōn, bisullen (“to make dirty”), German dialectal sühlen (“to soil, make dirty”), Danish søle (“to make dirty, defile”), Swedish söla (“to soil, make dirty”), Gothic 𐌱𐌹𐍃𐌰𐌿𐌻𐌾𐌰𐌽 (bisauljan, “to bemire”).
- (transitive) To make dirty.
- (intransitive) To become dirty or soiled.
- Light colours soil sooner than dark ones.
- (reflexive) To dirty one's clothing by accidentally defecating while clothed.
- To make invalid, to ruin.
- To enrich with soil or muck; to manure.
- Men […] soil their ground, not that they love the dirt, but that they expect a crop.
Derived terms 
soil (plural soils)
- (uncountable, euphemistic) Faeces or urine etc. when found on clothes.
- (countable, medicine) A bag containing soiled items.
- (faeces or urine etc.): dirt
Etymology 3 
From Middle English soyl, from Old French soil, souil (“quagmire, marsh”), from Frankish *sōlja, *saulja (“mire, miry place, wallow”), from Proto-Germanic *sauljō (“mud, puddle, feces”), from Proto-Indo-European *sūl- (“thick liquid”). Cognate with Old English syle, sylu, sylen (“miry place, wallow”), Old High German sol, gisol (“miry place”), German Suhle (“a wallow, mud pit, muddy pool”).
soil (plural soils)
- A wet or marshy place in which a boar or other such game seeks refuge when hunted.
Etymology 4 
- To feed, as cattle or horses, in the barn or an enclosure, with fresh grass or green food cut for them, instead of sending them out to pasture; hence (such food having the effect of purging them), to purge by feeding on green food.
- to soil a horse
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.