From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishsoilsoil1 /sɔɪl/ ●●● W2 noun 1 [countable, uncountable]TASDLG the top layer of the earth in which plants grow SYN earth fertile soil (=good for growing crops) The soil here is very poor (=not good for growing crops). Roses grow well in a clay soil.► see thesaurus at ground2 → on British/French/foreign etc soil3 [uncountable] a place or situation where something can develop Eastern Europe provided fertile soil for political activists.4 → somebody’s native soil5 → the soilCOLLOCATIONSADJECTIVES/NOUN + soilgood/rich/fertile (=good for growing plants)The fertile soil produces delicious wines.poor (=not good for growing plants)If the soil is poor, add manure or compost.deepThe soil near the river is rich and deep.thin (=not deep)The thin soil is easily washed away.moist/dryKeep the soil moist.The soil was dry after three weeks without rain.light/sandy (=containing a lot of sand)Some plants prefer sandy soils.heavy/clay (=containing a lot of clay)The soil was too heavy to grow decent carrots.well-drained (=letting water pass through easily)Plant the seedlings out in a warm, sunny position in well-drained soil.acid/alkalineBlueberries need acid soil.garden soilTry planting them in compost rather than garden soil.verbswork the soil (=prepare the soil to grow plants)They worked the soil with hoes and forks.till the soil (=prepare the soil to grow crops)Their time is spent in constantly tilling the soil. THESAURUSsoil the top layer of the earth that plants grow inRoses do best in well-drained, slightly acid soil.earth the brown substance that the ground is made up ofThousands of tons of earth were moved to build the dam.dirt American English loose dry eartha pile of loose dirt in the wheelbarrowdust a dry powder made up of extremely small bits of earth or sandA cloud of dust billowed out behind the tractor.mud wet soil that has become soft and stickyThe dog came back covered in mud.
Examples from the Corpussoil• soil and water pollution• Star fruit trees like well-draining, moist and slightly acid soil.• Roses do best in well-drained, slightly acid soil.• Other considerations for siting Neolithic settlements included good water and soil, and convenient pasture land for newly domesticated animals.• This was the first time that the Pope had set foot on Cuban soil.• Most herbs grow well in dry soil.• Right-wing activists found fertile soil for their anti-immigrant ideas in southeastern regions.• Parsley should have a deep, moist, fertile soil for ideal growth.• The island was a jungle of palm trees in a sandy soil.• A stable soil soaks up water, and allows acid to break up bedrock and create more soil.• This can be promoted by burning which removes woody tissue and locally enriches the soil.• A few infections arise from inanimate sources: for example, pathogens that cause tetanus are harboured in the soil.• The treaty will be signed on US soil.• The limiting factor for early planting is more often waterlogged soil than cold temperatures.fertile soil• Once you get a fertile soil, the bully boys tend to take over and only about half a dozen plants flourish.• It appreciates an acidic, fertile soil that drains well.• These tender plants like a moist, well-draining and fertile soil.• This new and fertile soil rapidly developed her character and painting style.• They do best in a deep, fertile soil that is well drained, but does not seriously dry out.• And it is fertile soil for a severe economic downturn in the post-cold war world economy.• Quince C Semi-dwarfing, used for strong-growing types, needs fertile soil.• Agriculture flourished on the fertile soils of Kosovo and Metohija.soilsoil2 verb [transitive] 1 formalDIRTY to make something dirty, especially with waste from your body2 → not soil your hands —soiled adjective soiled diapers→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpussoil• Many of the pages had been soiled by the old man's dirty fingers.• soiled diapers• The baby had soiled her diaper again.• The man then soiled his bed. and Butler cleaned and changed him again.• He sometimes gets his shoes soiled in trying to stay out of the muck.• Is the bark naturally as black as it is now, or has the dirt from the air soiled it?• This would be soiled over to give a better finish than presently shown.• Fremont Elementary was old and soiled, waiting for terminal erosion like the bits of tire debris that trucks leave on freeways.• His shirtfront was soiled with blood and his hair was wild.• What good is there in preventing it, in soiling your daughter's reputation when it could remain clear?Origin soil1 (1200-1300) Anglo-French “piece of ground”, from Latin solium “seat”; influenced by Latin solum “ground, soil” soil2 (1200-1300) Old French soiller, from soil “pigsty”, probably from Latin suile, from sus “pig”