Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A buff to gray windblown deposit of fine-grained, calcareous silt or clay.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any sediment, dominated by silt, of eolian (wind-blown) origin.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A quaternary deposit, usually consisting of a fine yellowish earth, on the banks of the Rhine and other large rivers.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In geology, originally, a certain loamy deposit in the valley of the Rhine; now, by extension, any detrital accumulation more or less resembling the original loess occurring in other parts of the world.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a fine-grained unstratified accumulation of clay and silt deposited by the wind

Etymologies

German Löss, from German dialectal Lösch, from lösch, loose; see leu- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • A certain deposit called loess or hwang-t'u (yellow earth) covers a great part of

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 3: Brownson-Clairvaux

  • Together with previously reported U-series dating of speleothem calcite and palaeomagnetic stratigraphy, as well as sedimentological considerations, these layers may be further correlated to S6-S7 in Chinese loess stratigraphy or marine isotope stages (MIS) 17-19, in the range of ∼ 0.68 to 0.78

    Naturejobs - All Jobs

  • Soils are silty and loamy, and formed in loess, which is thinner than in neighboring 27b, and with areas of sandy soils formed in sandstone.

    Ecoregions of Kansas and Nebraska (EPA)

  • River here you have a covering of what the Germans call loess, fine, wind-blown material, silt loam.

    Northern Nut Growers Association Incorporated 39th Annual Report at Norris, Tenn. September 13-15 1948

  • In northern China an area as large as France is deeply covered with a yellow pulverulent earth called loess (German, loose), which many consider a dust deposit blown from the great

    The Elements of Geology

  • Intimately connected with the subjects treated of in the last chapter, is the nature, origin, and age of certain loamy deposits, commonly called loess, which form a marked feature in the superficial deposits of the basins of the Rhine, Danube, and some other large rivers draining the Alps, and which extend down the

    The Antiquity of Man

  • The bluffs before alluded to often consist of a terrace of gravel, from 30 to 40 feet in thickness, covered by an older loess, which is continuous as we ascend the valley to

    The Antiquity of Man

  • They know that they like to farm in places with green soils, what we would call loess.

    NYT > Home Page

  • All of them are made of the same earth as that which lies around them -- a light, sandy loess which is easily removed with a shovel, requiring no picking or other loosening.

    Archeological Investigations Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 76

  • These dirt-cliffs, or "loess," to give them their scientific name, are remarkable banks of brownish-yellow loam, found largely in Northern and Western China, and rising sometimes to a height of a thousand feet.

    Historic Girls

Comments

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  • What a pretty word! I love those lush o-sounds.

    May 31, 2007

  • a loamy deposit formed by wind, usually yellowish and calcareous, common in the Mississippi Valley and in Europe and Asia.

    Origin: 1825–35; < G Löss < Swiss G lösch loose, slack (sch taken as a dial. equivalent of G s), akin to G lose

    May 31, 2007