English edit

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Etymology edit

From Middle English sluse, alteration of scluse, from Anglo-Norman escluse (sluice, floodgate), from Late Latin exclusa (extrusion, gate), from Latin exclūsus, form of exclūdō (I shut out, I exclude) (English exclude). Cognate to Dutch sluis.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /sluːs/
    • (file)
  • (obsolete) IPA(key): /sljuːs/
  • Rhymes: -uːs

Noun edit

sluice (plural sluices)

  1. An artificial passage for water, fitted with a valve or gate, for example in a canal lock or a mill stream, for stopping or regulating the flow.
  2. A water gate or floodgate.
  3. Hence, an opening or channel through which anything flows; a source of supply.
    • 1693, [William] Congreve, The Old Batchelour, a Comedy. [], 2nd edition, London: [] Peter Buck, [], →OCLC, Act V, page 45:
      At leaſt, I'm ſure I can fiſh it out of her. She's the very Sluce to her Lady's Secrets;—'Tis but ſetting her Mill agoing, and I can drein her of 'em all.
    • 1767, Walter Harte, Eulogius: Or, The Charitable Mason:
      Each sluice of affluent fortune open'd soon.
    • 1832, [Isaac Taylor], Saturday Evening. [], London: Holdsworth and Ball, →OCLC:
      This home familiarity [] opens the sluices of sensibility.
  4. The stream flowing through a floodgate.
  5. (mining) A long box or trough through which water flows, used for washing auriferous earth.
  6. (linguistics) An instance of wh-stranding ellipsis, or sluicing.

Coordinate terms edit

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

Verb edit

sluicing at a mine

sluice (third-person singular simple present sluices, present participle sluicing, simple past and past participle sluiced)

  1. (transitive, rare) To emit by, or as by, flood gates.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book I”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, →OCLC, lines 700–704:
      Nigh on the plain, in many cells prepared, / That underneath had veins of liquid fire / Sluiced from the lake, a second multitude / With wondrous art founded the massy ore, / Severing each kind, and scummed the bullion-dross.
  2. (transitive) To wet copiously, as by opening a sluice
    • 1855, William Howitt, Land, Labour and Gold; or, Two Years in Victoria:
      Nine - mile Creek has been dug out again and again , and has been sluiced three times
    • 1861, Thomas Hughes, chapter XIII, in Tom Brown at Oxford[1], London: Macmillan & Co.:
      [] he dried his neck and face, which he had been sluicing with cold water.
    • 1993, Paul Theroux, Millroy the Magician, page 61:
      Millroy often described his kidneys—how he flushed them out. His lungs—the way he hyperventilated them. His heart—how he got it pumping, sluicing its gates and chambers.
    • 2000, Laurel E. Fay, chapter 7, in Shostakovich: A Life, Oxford University Press, page 120:
      Many years later, in 1953, Shostakovich summarized his dissatisfactions with the competition more bluntly: "Rimsky-Korsakov groomed, waved, and sluiced Musorgsky with eau de cologne. My orchestration is crude, in keeping with Musorgsky."
  3. (transitive) To wash with, or in, a stream of water running through a sluice.
    to sluice earth or gold dust in a sluice box in placer mining
  4. (transitive, more generally) To wash (down or out).
    • 1595 December 9 (first known performance), William Shakespeare, “The life and death of King Richard the Second”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene 1]:
      [] he did plot the Duke of Gloucester's death, / Suggest his soon-believing adversaries, / And consequently, like a traitor coward, / Sluiced out his innocent soul through streams of blood
    • 1910, Lord Dunsany, “Bethmoora”, in A Dreamer's Tales[2], London: George Allen & Sons, page 68:
      And now men with a hose have come and are sluicing out the streets.
    • 1977, Timothy Findley, The Wars, Penguin Canada, published 1985, page 60:
      He also organized a bucket brigade for sluicing down the decks.
  5. (intransitive) To flow, pour.
    • 1932, Robinson Jeffers, “Thurso's Landing”, in The Selected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers[3], New York: Random House, page 311:
      In the trough behind the white wave / Helen shook her dark head, the water sluiced from her shoulders / And rose-tipped breasts.
    • 1934, George Orwell, chapter 23, in Burmese Days[4]:
      Out of sight of the houses he took off his clothes and let the rain sluice down on his bare body.
    • 1980, Peter De Vries, chapter 12, in Consenting Adults, or The Duchess Will Be Furious, Penguin, pages 185–6:
      these are often my thoughts as my partner or my vis-a-vis spoons a berry into her mouth and I imagine it—see and hear it being chewed, the red juice running from its bursting pulp over her tongue, mingling with her saliva, slipping through the crevices between her teeth before sluicing down her throat and into her bloodstream.
    • 1986, Tanith Lee, Delirium's Mistress, New York: Daw Books, Book Two, Part Two, Chapter 6, p. 240:
      The huge things which had already careered into flight, they were enormous slothful sacks of billowing skin, and where the light sluiced over their bodies, they glimmered acid-blue and bronze.
  6. (linguistics) To elide the complement in a coordinated wh-question. See sluicing.

Coordinate terms edit

  • (washing in mining): pan

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

Quotations edit

References edit

Anagrams edit