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Ss sluice2.jpg
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From Middle English sluse, alteration of scluse, from Anglo-Norman escluse, from Late Latin exclusa, from Latin exclūsus, form of exclūdō ‎(I shut out, I exclude) (English exclude).



sluice ‎(plural sluices)

  1. An artificial passage for water, fitted with a valve or gate, as in a mill stream, for stopping or regulating the flow; also, a water gate or flood gate.
  2. Hence, an opening or channel through which anything flows; a source of supply.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Harte
      Each sluice of affluent fortune opened soon.
    • (Can we date this quote?) I. Taylor
      This home familiarity [] opens the sluices of sensibility.
  3. The stream flowing through a flood gate.
  4. (mining) A long box or trough through which water flows, used for washing auriferous earth.
  5. (linguistics) An instance of wh-stranding ellipsis, or sluicing.

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sluicing at a mine

sluice ‎(third-person singular simple present sluices, present participle sluicing, simple past and past participle sluiced)

  1. (rare) To emit by, or as by, flood gates.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Milton to this entry?)
  2. To wet copiously, as by opening a sluice; as, to sluice meadows.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Howitt to this entry?)
    • (Can we date this quote?) De Quincey
      He dried his neck and face, which he had been sluicing with cold water.
  3. To wash with, or in, a stream of water running through a sluice.
    to sluice earth or gold dust in a sluice box in placer mining
  4. (linguistics) To elide the C` in a coordinated wh-question. See sluicing.

Coordinate terms[edit]

  • (washing in mining): pan