UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈslʌdʒ/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/slʌdʒ/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(sluj)

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
sludge /slʌdʒ/USA pronunciation   n. [uncountable]
  1. mud, mire, or ooze;
  2. a deposit of ooze at the bottom of a body of water.
  3. Civil Engineeringthe substance left over after treating sewage.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
sludge  (sluj),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. mud, mire, or ooze;
  2. a deposit of ooze at the bottom of a body of water.
  3. any of various more or less mudlike deposits or mixtures.
  4. Energythe sediment in a steam boiler or water tank.
  5. Oceanographybroken ice, as on the sea.
  6. a mixture of some finely powdered substance and water.
  7. Civil Engineeringsediment deposited during the treatment of sewage.
  8. MicrobiologyAlso called  activated sludge. [Bacteriol.]sewage sediment that contains a heavy growth of microorganisms, resulting from vigorous aeration.
  9. Mininga fine, mudlike powder produced by a mining drill.
  • 1640–50; variant of dialect, dialectal slutch, slitch, Middle English slich slime, wet mud (compare its derivative slucched muddy); apparently of expressive origin, originally

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
sludge /slʌdʒ/ n
  1. soft mud, snow, etc
  2. any deposit or sediment
  3. a surface layer of ice that has a slushy appearance
  4. (in sewage disposal) the solid constituents of sewage that precipitate during treatment and are removed for subsequent purification
Etymology: 17th Century: probably related to slush
'sludge' also found in these entries:
Synonyms: muck, slime, mud, mire, slop, more...
Collocations: [river, puddle, sewage, waste] sludge, sludge from [sewers, wastewater, households, chemicals], sludge from the [melted snow, rain, sewage], more...

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