Sedimentary vs sedentary

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Sedimentary and sedentary are two words that are close in pronunciation and spelling, but have very different meanings. We will examine the definitions of sedimentary and sedentary, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Sedimentary describes something that has to do with sediment. Most often, sedimentary is used to describe a certain type of rock that 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. The word sedimentary first appeared in the mid-1700s, though the term sedimentary rock wasn’t coined until 1830.

Sedentary describes someone who does not move around much, someone who remains seated for long periods of time. The term sedentary lifestyle is often used to mean a person who has unhealthy habits and does not move around or exercise much. This type of person is most probably shortening his life. The word sedentary is derived from the Latin word sedentarius which means to sit or to remain in one place.


The new findings – “tough” organic molecules in three-billion-year-old sedimentary rocks near the surface, as well as seasonal variations in the levels of methane in the atmosphere – appear in the June 8 edition of the journal Science. (Lake County News)

Post Rock is a lab-made re-creation of the naturally occurring plastiglomerate—a relatively new geological substance composed of discarded plastic, sedimentary granules, and other debris. (The Architect’s Newspaper)

“Our study shows that the risks associated with sedentary behaviour are not the same for everyone; individuals with low physical activity experience the greatest adverse effects,” commented corresponding author Dr Carlos Celis. (The Star)
I became rather sedentary, and since I was no longer outside most of the time during the summer, I put on a lot of weight. (The Atlanta Journal Constitution)