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[sleet] /slit/
precipitation in the form of ice pellets created by the freezing of rain as it falls (distinguished from hail).
glaze (def 17).
Chiefly British. a mixture of rain and snow.
verb (used without object)
to send down sleet.
to fall as or like sleet.
1250-1300; (noun) Middle English slete; akin to Low German slote, German Schlossen hail; (v.) Middle English sleten, derivative of the noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sleet
  • Even worse is sleet or rain, which turns the field into a lake of mud.
  • Rain that falls from clouds but freezes before it reaches the ground is called sleet or ice pellets.
  • More precipitation would cause more rainfall--or hail or sleet or snow.
  • And even the burliest sport coats can't defend against gnarly torrents of snow, sleet or bitter cold.
  • The sleet came first and covered everything with a thin layer of ice.
  • They traced the extra radiation to a perpetual sleet of particles coming from space.
  • Also called sleet ice sheet: noun: thick layer of glacial ice that covers a large area of land.
  • They can, however, sometimes form on falling sleet pellets.
  • By the busload they came, beckoned by the white fluorescent cross that shimmered through the sleet.
  • sleet is from the noun, greet becomes greeted and meet becomes met.
British Dictionary definitions for sleet


partly melted falling snow or hail or (esp US) partly frozen rain
(mainly US) the thin coat of ice that forms when sleet or rain freezes on cold surfaces
(intransitive) to fall as sleet
Derived Forms
sleety, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Germanic; compare Middle Low German slōten hail, Middle High German slōze, German Schlossen hailstones
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 sleet

c.1300, slete, either from an unrecorded Old English *slete, *slyte, related to Middle High German sloz, Middle Low German sloten (plural) "hail," from Proto-Germanic *slautjan- (cf. dialectal Norwegian slutr, Danish slud, Swedish sloud "sleet"), from root *slaut-.


early 14c., from sleet (n.). Related: Sleeted; sleeting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sleet in Science
Precipitation that falls to earth in the form of frozen or partially frozen raindrops, often when the temperature is near the freezing point. Sleet usually leaves the cloud in the form of snow that melts as it passes through warm layers of air during its descent. The raindrops and partially melted snowflakes then freeze in the colder layers nearer the earth before striking the ground as pellets of ice, which usually bounce. By contrast,hail forms by the accumulation of layers of ice on the hailstone as it moves up and down in the cloud, and hailstones can become much larger than sleet pellets. The word sleet is also used informally to describe a mixture of snow, sleet, and rain.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for sleet

globular, generally transparent ice pellets that have diameters of 5 mm (0.2 inch) or less and that form as a result of the freezing of raindrops or the freezing of mostly melted snowflakes. Larger particles are called hailstones (see hail). Sleet may occur when a warm layer of air lies above a below-freezing layer of air at the Earth's surface. In Great Britain and in some parts of the United States, a mixture of rain and snow is called sleet, and the term has sometimes been used to identify the clear ice on objects that is more correctly known as glaze.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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