Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The horizontal timber nearest the ground in the frame of a building.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A timber beam used as the foundation for a building.
  • n. The lowest beam of a door-frame; the threshold.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The timber of a building which lies next to the ground; the ground-plate; the sill.
  • n. In mining, the bottom piece of a wooden gallery-frame.

Etymologies

Apparently from ground + sill. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Peter; 'we'll drink to its memory -- (Hout! the heart's at the mouth o' that ill-faur'd bit stoup already!) -- it brought a rent, reckoning from the crawstep to the groundsill, that ye might ca 'fourteen punds a year, forby the laigh cellar that was let to Lucky Littleworth.'

    Redgauntlet

  • It reported the troubling story about the Puckerin family of St. Philip who found an explosive device equipped with detonator lodged in the groundsill of their house.

    Barbados Underground

  • Covenanter,’ said Peter; ‘we’ll drink to its memory — (Hout! the heart’s at the mouth o’ that ill-faur’d bit stoup already!) — it brought a rent, reckoning from the crawstep to the groundsill, that ye might ca’ fourteen punds a year, forby the laigh cellar that was let to Lucky

    Redgauntlet

  • “You would be the mair beast yourself to do so,” said the king; “it is weel kend that I wrestled wi’ Dagon in my youth, and smote him on the groundsill of his own temple; a gude evidence that I should be in time called, however unworthy, the Defender of the

    The Fortunes of Nigel

  • "You would be the mair beast yourself to do so," said the king; "it is weel kend that I wrestled wi 'Dagon in my youth, and smote him on the groundsill of his own temple; a gude evidence that I should be in time called, however unworthy, the Defender of the Faith.

    The Fortunes of Nigel

  • Through half a lifetime of Catholic liturgies, during school years, in my professional work as an educator, for 14 years in a monastery, she lived at my inmost center, the groundsill of my spirituality. "

    National Catholic Reporter

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