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Three layers of subsurface loam; surface layer is dark brown fine sandy loam, subsurface layer is pale brown fine sandy loam, subsoil is red clay loam and sandy clay loam.
Soil types by clay, silt and sand composition as used by the United States Department of Agriculture


From Middle English lome, lame, lam, from Old English lām (clay, mud, mire, earth), from Proto-Germanic *laimaz, *laimô (clay), from Proto-Indo-European *ley- (mud, slime; to slip, slide). Cognate with Saterland Frisian Leem (loam), West Frisian liem (loam), Dutch leem (loam), German Lehm (loam). Related also to lime.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ləʊm/
  • Rhymes: -əʊm
  • (US) IPA(key): /loʊm/
  • (file)


loam (countable and uncountable, plural loams)

  1. (geology) A type of soil; an earthy mixture of sand, silt and clay, with organic matter to which its fertility is chiefly due.
    • 1602 : William Shakespeare, Hamlet, act V scene 1
      Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander
      returneth to dust, the dust is earth, of earth we make
      loam, and of why that loam whereto he was converted
      might they not stop a beer-barrel?
  2. (metalworking) A mixture of sand, clay, and other materials, used in making moulds for large castings, often without a pattern.

Derived terms[edit]



loam (third-person singular simple present loams, present participle loaming, simple past and past participle loamed)

  1. To cover, smear, or fill with loam.

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 The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for loam in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)


Derived terms[edit]


loam (not comparable)

  1. Made of loam; consisting of loam.

Further reading[edit]