Sediment vs sentiment

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Sediment and sentiment are two words that are close in spelling and pronunciation, and are sometimes confused. We will examine the definitions of the words sediment and sentiment, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Sediment is the material that is deposited at the bottom of a liquid. Sediment may be the dregs left in a glass of tea or it may be the mud and silt left at the bottom of a river. Sedimentary rock is made up of the mud and silt deposited by the movement of water and wind, which hardens into rock. Usually, sedimentary rock is deposited in layers. Sediment is sometimes used as a verb to mean to deposit dregs, related words are sediments, sedimented, sedimenting. The word sediment is derived from the Latin word sedimentum, meaning a settling.

Sentiment may mean an opinion someone holds or it may mean an emotion or feeling. Often, the word sentiment is used in describing feelings of extreme nostalgia or tenderness. Sentiment is a mass noun, which is a noun that can not be counted and does not have a plural form. The adjective form is sentimental. The word sentiment is derived from the Latin word sentire, which means feel.


Crews dredging sediment from Lake Decatur have been waiting to get to work since April after engineers encountered a problem with the project: The basin where sediment is being stored has reached maximum capacity earlier than expected. (The Herald & Review)

“This degradation means that sediment is now smothering the galaxias’ breeding and feeding habitats.” (The Sydney Morning Herald)

It’s a love letter, but the sentiment and affection that pour through the film is honestly arrived at, even when, near the end, the film threatens to turn into the cinematic equivalent of a group hug.  (The Christian Science Monitor)

In what can be seen as throwing a hat for the leadership of united opposition, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Chief Sharad Pawar has said that he senses a strong anti-BJP sentiment and is willing to participate in the united opposition front to bring a 1977-like political change in the country. (The New Indian Express)