The prospector is panning for gold with a sluice box.
An example of a sluice is a gate that holds water back in a flood.
- an artificial channel or passage for water, having a gate or valve at its head to regulate the flow, as in a canal or millstream
- the water held back by or passing through such a gate
- a gate or valve used in opening or closing a sluice; floodgatealso sluice gate
- any channel, esp. one for excess water
- a sloping trough or flume through which water is run, as in washing gold ore, carrying logs, etc.
Origin of sluiceMiddle English scluse from Old French escluse and Late Latin exclusa from feminine past participle of Classical Latin excludere, to shut out, exclude
transitive verbsluiced, sluic′ing
- to draw off by or as by means of a sluice
- Mining to wash with water flowing in or from a sluice
- to wash off with a rush of water: to sluice a deck with hoses
- to carry (logs, etc.) in a sluice
- a. An artificial channel for conducting water, with a valve or gate to regulate the flow: sluices connecting a reservoir with irrigated fields.b. A valve or gate used in such a channel; a floodgate: open sluices to flood a dry dock. Also called sluice gate .
- A body of water impounded behind a floodgate.
- A sluiceway.
- A long inclined trough, as for carrying logs or separating gold ore.
verbsluiced, sluic·ing, sluic·es
- To flood or drench with or as if with a flow of released water.
- To wash with water flowing in a sluice: sluicing sediment for gold.
- To draw off or let out by a sluice: sluice floodwater.
- To send (logs, for example) down a sluice.
Origin of sluiceMiddle English scluse from Old French escluse from Late Latin exclūsa from Latin feminine past participle of exclūdere to shut out ; see exclude .
- 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.
- Hence, an opening or channel through which anything flows; a source of supply.
- Each sluice of affluent fortune opened soon. -Harte.
- This home familiarity . . . opens the sluices of sensibility. -I. Taylor.
- The stream flowing through a flood gate.
- (mining) A long box or trough through which water flows, used for washing auriferous earth.
- (linguistics) An instance of wh-stranding ellipsis, or sluicing.
(third-person singular simple present sluices, present participle sluicing, simple past and past participle sluiced)
- (rare) To emit by, or as by, flood gates. -Milton.
- To wet copiously, as by opening a sluice; as, to sluice meadows. Howitt.
- He dried his neck and face, which he had been sluicing with cold water. -De Quincey.
- 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.
- To elide the C` in a coordinated wh-question