Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The horizontal member that bears the upright portion of a frame, especially the horizontal member that forms the base of a window.
  • noun Geology An approximately horizontal sheet of igneous rock intruded between older rock beds.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The thill or shaft of a carriage.
  • noun A young herring.
  • noun A variant of sell.
  • noun A stone or piece of timber on which a structure rests; a block forming a basis or foundation: as, the sills of a house, of a bridge, of a loom; more specifically, a horizontal piece of timber of the frame of a building, or of wood or stone at the bottom of a framed case, such as that of a door or window; in absolute use, a door-sill. See door-sill, ground-sill, mudsill, port-sill, window-sill.
  • noun In fortification, the inner edge of the bottom or sole of an embrasure. See diagram under embrasure.
  • noun In mining: The floor of a gallery or passage in a mine.
  • noun A term used by miners in the lead districts of the north of England as nearly equivalent to bed or stratum. Thus, the basaltic sheets intercalated in the mountain-limestone are called whin -sills.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The timber or stone at the foot of a door; the threshold.
  • noun The timber or stone on which a window frame stands; or, the lowest piece in a window frame.
  • noun The floor of a gallery or passage in a mine.
  • noun A piece of timber across the bottom of a canal lock for the gates to shut against.
  • noun (Arch.) a horizontal course of stone, terra cotta, or the like, built into a wall at the level of one or more window sills, these sills often forming part of it.
  • noun engraving A young herring.
  • noun Prov. Eng. The shaft or thill of a carriage.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A horizontal slat which forms the base of a window.
  • noun A horizontal, structural member of a building near ground level on a foundation (sense #3) or pilings or lying on the ground in earth-fast construction and bearing the upright portion of a frame. Also spelled cill. Also called a ground plate, groundsill, sole, sole-plate, mudsill. An interrupted-sill fits between posts instead of being below and supporting the posts in timber framing.
  • noun geology A horizontal layer of igneous rock between older rock beds.
  • noun UK A young herring.

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

  • noun (geology) a flat (usually horizontal) mass of igneous rock between two layers of older sedimentary rock
  • noun structural member consisting of a continuous horizontal timber forming the lowest member of a framework or supporting structure

Etymologies

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

[Middle English sille, from Old English syll, threshold.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English sille, from Old English syll, threshold. Cognate with German Schwelle ( > Danish svelle), Old Norse svill and syll ( > Danish syld, Norwegian syll).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Compare sile.

Examples

  • Wolf, if you look real quickly over my shoulder, perhaps you see what they call the sill plates that help to hold up these decks, these porches that they call them here in Chicago.

    CNN Transcript Jun 29, 2003

  • Apart from the floor and a writing desk, every horizontal surface, including the window sill, is stacked a foot high with files and reports.

    Stoking the Beast

  • Apart from the floor and a writing desk, every horizontal surface, including the window sill, is stacked a foot high with files and reports.

    Stoking the Beast

  • Apart from the floor and a writing desk, every horizontal surface, including the window sill, is stacked a foot high with files and reports.

    Stoking the Beast

  • There was a dining chair placed in front of the sill, as if the sill was a desk.

    The Hard War

  • Your wall will be here and look, right over here is where it goes through the sill, which is that plate.

    CNN Transcript Sep 2, 2006

  • There was a dining chair placed in front of the sill, as if the sill was a desk.

    The Hard Way

  • On the sill was a plastic paper-ticket dispenser like they use at a meat-market counter.

    The Concrete Blonde

  • Blinds were drawn in the window behind the desk, perhaps to reduce the glare on the computer screen, and leaning against the sill was a scarred and battered brown leather briefcase.

    CRUEL AND UNUSUAL

  • Blinds were drawn in the window behind the desk, perhaps to reduce the glare on the computer screen, and leaning against the sill was a scarred and battered brown leather briefcase.

    CRUEL AND UNUSUAL

Comments

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  • I was going to make up an adjective meaning 'of or like a sill' but that would be silly.

    February 1, 2016