Definitions

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

  • n. A tall cylindrical structure, usually beside a barn, in which fodder is stored.
  • n. A pit dug for the same purpose.
  • n. An underground shelter for a missile, usually equipped to launch the missile or to raise it into a launching position.
  • transitive v. To store in a silo.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A vertical building, usually circular, used for the storage of grain.
  • n. An underground bunker used to hold missiles which may be launched.
  • n. An organizational unit that has poor interaction with other units, negatively affecting overall performance.
  • n. A structure in the information system that is poorly networked with other structures, with data exchange hampered.
  • v. To store in a silo.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A pit or vat for packing away green fodder for winter use so as to exclude air and outside moisture. See ensilage.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To preserve in a silo; make silage or ensilage of.
  • n. A pit or chamber in the ground, or a cavity in a rock, or more rarely a warm air-tight structure above ground, for the storing of green crops for future use as fodder in the state called ensilage.
  • n. The pit silo has, in America, largely given way to above-ground structures of brick or stone or, commonly, of wood, these being found cheaper, equally effective, and more convenient except on hillsides. The wooden silo was at first rectangular, but for greater strength and to avoid the spoiling of silage in the corners a round form has been largely adopted. Round wooden silos are walled either with staves (see stave silo), or with studding lined and sheathed with boards or inside lathed and plastered with cement. The foundation in either case is of stone laid in cement. The superstructure may be sunk a short distance into the ground. Rectangular (and square) silos (preferred inside a rectangular building) are built with studding. All above-ground silos require doors, which are placed one above another and are often covered with an external shoot down which the silage falls as it is taken out. Outdoor silos usually require a roof with provision for ventilation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. military installation consisting of an underground structure where ballistic missiles can be stored and fired
  • n. a cylindrical tower used for storing silage

Etymologies

Spanish.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Spanish silo, from Basque zilo, zulo ("grain cellar"), from Latin sirus ("pit for corn, undergraound granary"), (compare Latin sīromastes ("pit-searcher"), from Ancient Greek σειρομάστης), from Ancient Greek σιρός (siros, "pit for holding grain"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • The usage of this in the last 15 years or so in the business environment has been universally negative. It make me wonder if anyone ever praised, or spoke glowlingly of, a silo in the sense of a self-contained corporate subdivision. If not, why the continual need to excoriate it? The usual mulcted flarf from hyphy biz-drones.

    February 21, 2009

  • "S is for Silos. Destroy anything that prevents departments and teams from interacting, celebrating and collaborating together on the greater good. Blow up silos the minute they appear and 86 the people who insist on building new ones."
    - Jim Sullivan, 'The ABCs of Succeeding in a Downturn Economy', December 2008.

    February 21, 2009

  • Citation on semolina.

    August 2, 2008