loam

[lohm]
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:
before 900; late Middle English lome, earlier lam(e), Old English lām; cognate with Dutch leem, German Lehm loam, clay; akin to lime1

loaminess, noun
loamless, adjective
loamy, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
loam (ləʊm)
 
n
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
 
vb
3.  (tr) to cover, treat, or fill with loam
 
[Old English lām; related to Old Swedish lēmo clay, Old High German leimo]
 
'loamy
 
adj
 
'loaminess
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

loam
O.E. lam "clay, mud, mire, earth," from P.Gmc. *laimaz (cf. O.S. lemo, Du. leem, Ger. Lehm), from PIE root *lai-/*li- "to be sticky" (see lime (1)). As a type of highly fertile clayey soil, it is attested from 1664.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
loam   (lōm)  Pronunciation Key 
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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Example sentences
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.
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