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loam

[lohm] /loʊm/
noun
1.
a rich, friable soil containing a relatively equal mixture of sand and silt and a somewhat smaller proportion of clay.
2.
a mixture of clay, sand, straw, etc., used in making molds for founding and in plastering walls, stopping holes, etc.
3.
earth or soil.
4.
Obsolete. clay or clayey earth.
verb (used with object)
5.
to cover or stop with loam.
Origin
late Middle English
900
before 900; late Middle English lome, earlier lam(e), Old English lām; cognate with Dutch leem, German Lehm loam, clay; akin to lime1
Related forms
loaminess, noun
loamless, adjective
loamy, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for loam
  • Once, this garden's rich loam supported a holly farm.
  • The country they inhabit is chiefly loam and swampy.
  • The enclosure smelled of warm straw and the wet loam of early spring.
  • The smell of the crops and loam and topsoil and manure wafted though the open door.
British Dictionary definitions for loam

loam

/ləʊm/
noun
1.
rich soil consisting of a mixture of sand, clay, and decaying organic material
2.
a paste of clay and sand used for making moulds in a foundry, plastering walls, etc
verb
3.
(transitive) to cover, treat, or fill with loam
Derived Forms
loamy, adjective
loaminess, noun
Word Origin
Old English lām; related to Old Swedish lēmo clay, Old High German leimo
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for loam
n.

Old English lam "clay, mud, mire, earth," from Proto-Germanic *laimaz (cf. Old Saxon lemo, Dutch leem, German Lehm "loam"), from PIE root *(s)lei- "slimy" (see slime (n.)). As a type of highly fertile clayey soil, it is attested from 1660s. As a verb from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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loam in Science
loam
  (lōm)   
Soil composed of approximately equal quantities of sand, silt, and clay, often with variable amounts of decayed plant matter.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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6
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