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See also: Sill


1: Sill
2: Lintel
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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 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
  6. (military, historical) The inner edge of the bottom of an embrasure.
Usage notes[edit]

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

Derived terms[edit]
Related 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.

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.


  • (file)
  • (file)
  • IPA(key): /sɪl/


sill c

  1. a herring

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.


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

See also[edit]


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