See also: Sill


1: Sill
2: Lintel


  • enPR: sĭl, IPA(key): /sɪl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪl

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English sille, selle, sülle, from Old English syll, syl (sill, threshold, foundation, base, basis), from Proto-Germanic *sulī (bar, sill), from Proto-Indo-European *sel-, *swel- (beam, board, frame, threshold). Cognate with Scots sil, sill (balk, beam, floor, sill), Dutch zulle (sill), Low German Sull, Sülle (threshold, ramp, sill), Danish syld (base of a framework building), Swedish syll (joist, cross-tie), Norwegian syll, Icelandic syll, sylla (sill). Related also to German Schwelle ( > Danish svelle), Old Norse svill, Latin silva (wood, forest), Ancient Greek ὕλη (húlē).


sill (plural sills)

  1. (architecture) (also window sill) breast wall; window breast; horizontal brink which forms the base of a window.
    She looked out the window resting her elbows on the window sill.
  2. (construction) threshold; horizontal structural member of a building near ground level on a foundation or pilings, or lying on the ground, and bearing the upright portion of a frame. Wikipedia:Sill Plate
  3. (geology) ridge; rise; horizontal layer of igneous rock between older rock beds.
  4. Threshold or brink across the bottom of a canal lock for the gates to shut against.
  5. (anatomy) A raised area at the base of the nasal aperture in the skull.
    the nasal sill
  6. (military, historical) The inner edge of the bottom of an embrasure.
Usage notesEdit

Usually spelled cill when used in the context of canal or river engineering.

Derived termsEdit
Related termsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2Edit

Compare sile.


sill (plural sills)

  1. (Britain) A young herring.

Etymology 3Edit

Compare thill.


sill (plural sills)

  1. The shaft or thill of a carriage.




From Old Norse síld, from Proto-Germanic *sīlą.



sill c

  1. a herring

Usage notesEdit

  • Herring from the Atlantic on Sweden's west coast is called sill. The subspecies fished from the Baltic Sea on Sweden's east coast is called strömming.


Declension of sill 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative sill sillen sillar sillarna
Genitive sills sillens sillars sillarnas

See alsoEdit


  • Harris, Cyril M.. Illustrated dictionary of historic architecture. New York: Dover Publications, 1983, 1977. Groundsill →ISBN



See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.


sill f (plural sillau or silloedd, not mutable)

  1. Alternative form of sillaf (syllable)

Further readingEdit

  • R. J. Thomas, G. A. Bevan, P. J. Donovan, A. Hawke et al., editors (1950–present), “sill”, in Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru Online (in Welsh), University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies