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See also: Sill


1: Sill
2: Lintel


  • enPR: sĭl, IPA(key): /sɪl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪl

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), German Süll, Sülle (threshold, 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 breast wall; window breast; horizontal brink which forms the base of a window.
    She looked out the window resting her elbows on the window sill.
  2. (construction) A threshold; horizontal structural member of a building near ground level on a foundation or pilings, or lying on the ground, and bearing the upright portion of a frame; a sill plate.
    Coordinate terms: ground plate, groundsill, sole, sole plate, mudsill
  3. (geology) A stratum of rock, especially an intrusive layer of igneous rock lying parallel to surrounding strata.
    • 1980, Geological Survey Professional Paper, Volume 1119, U.S. Government Printing Office:
      Minor palingenetic magmas probably were generated at this time and intruded the mantling rocks in the form of small sills and apophyses [] .
    • 2018, Tim Flannery, Europe: The First 100 Million Years, Penguin, published 2019, page 55::
      The molten rock in the sills may have ignited vast reserves of shallowly buried natural gas, much like a match applied to a gas barbecue.
  4. A threshold or brink 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. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

Compare sile.


sill (plural sills)

  1. (UK) A young herring.

Etymology 3[edit]

Compare thill.


sill (plural sills)

  1. The shaft or thill of a carriage.

Etymology 4[edit]

Short for silly.


sill (comparative more sill, superlative most sill)

  1. (rare, slang) Silly.


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




Unadapted borrowing from French sill, from English sill.


sill n (uncountable)

  1. (geology) sill



Swedish Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia sv
en sill


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



sill c

  1. 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

Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]




See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.


sill f (plural sillau or silloedd, not mutable)

  1. Alternative form of sillaf (syllable)

Further reading[edit]

  • R. J. Thomas, G. A. Bevan, P. J. Donovan, A. Hawke et al., editors (1950–present), “sill”, in Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru Online (in Welsh), University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies