Definitions

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

  • n. An artificial channel for conducting water, with a valve or gate to regulate the flow: sluices connecting a reservoir with irrigated fields.
  • n. A valve or gate used in such a channel; a floodgate: open sluices to flood a dry dock. Also called sluice gate.
  • n. A body of water impounded behind a floodgate.
  • n. A sluiceway.
  • n. A long inclined trough, as for carrying logs or separating gold ore.
  • transitive v. To flood or drench with or as if with a flow of released water.
  • transitive v. To wash with water flowing in a sluice: sluicing sediment for gold.
  • transitive v. To draw off or let out by a sluice: sluice floodwater.
  • transitive v. To send (logs, for example) down a sluice.
  • intransitive v. To flow out from or as if from a sluice.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An artificial passage for water, fitted with a valve or gate, as in a mill stream, for stopping or regulating the flow; also, a water gate or flood gate.
  • n. Hence, an opening or channel through which anything flows; a source of supply.
  • n. The stream flowing through a flood gate.
  • n. A long box or trough through which water flows, -- used for washing auriferous earth.
  • v. To emit by, or as by, flood gates. -Milton.
  • v. To wet copiously, as by opening a sluice; as, to sluice meadows. Howitt.
  • v. To wash with, or in, a stream of water running through a sluice; as, to sluice earth or gold dust in a sluice box in placer mining.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An artifical passage for water, fitted with a valve or gate, as in a mill stream, for stopping or regulating the flow; also, a water gate or flood gate.
  • n. Hence, an opening or channel through which anything flows; a source of supply.
  • n. The stream flowing through a flood gate.
  • n. A long box or trough through which water flows, -- used for washing auriferous earth.
  • transitive v. To emit by, or as by, flood gates.
  • transitive v. To wet copiously, as by opening a sluice.
  • transitive v. To wash with, or in, a stream of water running through a sluice.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To open a flood-gate or sluice upon; let a copious flow of water on or in: as, to sluice a meadow.
  • To draw out or off, as water, by a sluice: as, to sluice the water into the corn-fields or to a mill.
  • To wet or lave abundantly.
  • To scour out or cleanse by means of sluices: as, to sluice a harbor.
  • To let out as by a sluice; cause to gush out.
  • In lumbering: Same as flume, 2.
  • To float (logs) through the sluiceway of a splash-dam. Same as splash, 5.
  • To injure (as a team of horses or their driver) by the down-rush of a load of logs due to the breaking of the hawser used to control its descent over a steep slope.
  • n. A body of water held in check by a flood-gate; a stream of water issuing through a flood-gate.
  • n. A gate or other contrivance by which the flow of water in a waterway is controlled; a flood-gate; also, an artificial passage or channel into which water is allowed to enter by such a gate; a sluiceway; hence, any artificial channel for running water: as, a mill -sluice.
  • n. In mining, a trough made of boards, used for separating gold from the gravel and sand in which it occurs.
  • n. In steam-engines, the injection-valve by which the water of condensation is introduced into the condenser.
  • n. A tubulure or pipe through which water is directed at will.
  • n. Same as flume, 4.

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

  • v. transport in or send down a sluice
  • n. conduit that carries a rapid flow of water controlled by a sluicegate
  • v. pour as if from a sluice
  • v. irrigate with water from a sluice
  • v. draw through a sluice

Etymologies

Middle English scluse, from Old French escluse, from Late Latin exclūsa, from Latin, feminine past participle of exclūdere, to shut out; see exclude.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old French escluse (French écluse), from Late Latin exclusa, sclusa, from Latin exclūsus, form of exclūdō ("I shut out, I exclude") (English exclude). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Call you at half after five in the mornin ', an' you get up an 'take a' sluice '-- if there's any soap.

    THE CARTER AND THE CARPENTER

  • SLUICE ROBBER: one way of separating gold from the gravel and sand in which it is found is to put the mixture into a slanting trough, called a sluice, through which water is run.

    The Short-story

  • A kind of broad trough, running in a slanting direction and called a sluice, was on one side, and into this a quantity of wash was put, and a tap at the top turned on, which caused the water to wash the dirt down the sluice.

    Madame Midas

  • This had what is called a sluice valve, and Lambert had been instructed to turn the screw which closed it round and round, until he found he could turn it no farther; when that was done, he would know that it was shut.

    Chatterbox, 1906

  • 'Tom' begat the sluice, which is of two kinds, natural and artificial.

    To The Gold Coast for Gold, Vol. II A Personal Narrative

  • "Call you at half after five in the mornin ', an' you get up an 'take a' sluice '-- if there's any soap.

    The People of the Abyss

  • And just as the miner makes the broken-down gold-bearing stuff run through his constructed sluices, Nature sends all her gold in a torrent into the natural sluice which is known as the Fraser Canyon.

    A Tramp's Notebook

  • All these brilliant images took possession of our fancies as soon as the boy had uttered the unlucky word "sluice;" and smiling to one another, we made up our minds to rest contentedly where we were.

    Germany, Bohemia, and Hungary, Visited in 1837. Vol. II

  • Searching for a definition for the word "sluice," I naturally turned to my trusty friend,

    Traffick

  • This monolith has been tempered by thousands of years of polishing wind, blowtorch sun, flood and rattling hail, sluice of rain.

    Bird Cloud

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