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See also: Sill


1: Sill
2: Lintel


Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English sille, selle, sülle, from Old English syll, syl (sill, threshold, foundation, base, basis), from Proto-Germanic *sulī (bar, sill), from Proto-Indo-European *sel-, *swel- (beam, board, frame, threshold). Cognate with Scots sil, sill (balk, beam, floor, sill), Dutch zulle (sill), Low German Sull, Sülle (threshold, ramp, sill), Danish syld (base of a framework building), Swedish syll (joist, cross-tie), Norwegian syll, Icelandic syll, sylla (sill). Related also to German Schwelle ( > Danish svelle), Old Norse svill, Latin silva (wood, forest), Ancient Greek ὕλη (húlē).


sill (plural sills)

  1. (architecture) (also window sill) A horizontal slat which forms the base of a window.
    She looked out the window resting her elbows on the window sill.
  2. (construction) A horizontal, structural member of a building near ground level on a foundation or pilings or lying on the ground in earth-fast construction and bearing the upright portion of a frame. Also spelled cill. Also called a ground plate, groundsill, sole, sole-plate, mudsill. An interrupted sill fits between posts instead of being below and supporting the posts in timber framing.
  3. (geology) A horizontal layer of igneous rock between older rock beds.
  4. A piece of timber across the bottom of a canal lock for the gates to shut against.
  5. (anatomy) A raised area at the base of the nasal aperture in the skull.
    the nasal sill
Usage notes[edit]

Usually spelled cill when used in the context of canal or river engineering.

Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Compare sile.


sill (plural sills)

  1. (Britain) A young herring.

Etymology 3[edit]

Compare thill.


sill (plural sills)

  1. The shaft or thill of a carriage.




From Old Norse síld, from Proto-Germanic *sīlą.



sill c

  1. a herring


Declension of sill 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative sill sillen sillar sillarna
Genitive sills sillens sillars sillarnas

Usage notes[edit]

  • Herring from the Atlantic on Sweden's west coast is called sill. The subspecies fished from the Baltic Sea on Sweden's east coast is called strömming.

See also[edit]


  • Harris, Cyril M.. Illustrated dictionary of historic architecture. New York: Dover Publications, 1983, 1977. Groundsill ISBN 048624444X