Silos vs. Siloes: Know the Difference
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on November 13, 2023
"Silos" and "Siloes" are the same, referring to large towers for storing bulk materials; "Silos" is the more commonly used spelling.
Despite being less common, "Siloes" maintains the same definitions and applications as "Silos." It can be found in various texts and contexts, although it might appear less frequently in everyday language. Whether one uses "Silos" or "Siloes" can be a matter of personal or regional preference, but both convey the same ideas.
"Siloes," on the other hand, is an alternative plural spelling of "silo." Though less common, it is considered acceptable and follows a pattern in English where nouns ending in 'o' gain an 'es' in the plural form. Like "Silos," "Siloes" can also refer to actual grain storage structures or to isolated systems within an organization.
In English, the word "Silos" is the plural form of "silo," which denotes a tall tower or pit on a farm used to store grain or bulk materials. It's also used metaphorically to refer to a system, process, or department that operates in isolation from others. Each use of the term "Silos" is a reflection of its role in both agricultural and organizational contexts.
The term "Silos" is more frequently used in American English and is the preferred term in agricultural and professional settings. Its usage in sentences is straightforward and denotes either the physical grain storage containers or the abstract concept of compartmentalization within organizations. The prevalence of "Silos" makes it more recognizable to most English speakers.
Ultimately, the choice between "Silos" and "Siloes" comes down to stylistic preference, as there is no difference in meaning between the two. Publishers, dictionaries, and style guides may have distinct preferences, and these may shift over time as language evolves. Currently, "Silos" is the dominant form, but "Siloes" remains an acceptable alternative.
More common spelling
Less common spelling
Preferred in American English
Used but less preferred
Plural form of 'silo'
Alternative plural form of 'silo'
More widely recognized and used
Less recognized, but still understood
Silos and Siloes Definitions
Large tower for storing and fermenting grain.
Farmers filled the silos with corn for winter.
Towers or pits on a farm for preserving grain or silage.
Siloes are essential for feed storage through the winter.
Military underground chamber for missiles.
The missile was launched from its silo.
Separate units within an organization lacking interaction.
She aimed to break down the siloes within the corporation.
Container or pit used in bulk material storage.
The cement silos at the plant hold thousands of tons.
Missiles housing facilities in a military context.
The army decommissioned the old nuclear siloes.
Part of a system that operates separately from others.
Company growth was hindered by departmental silos.
Alternative plural of a structure for storing bulk materials.
He built two new siloes on the south field.
Tall cylinder structure on a farm.
The skyline was marked by several silos.
Vertical containers in industrial settings.
The new factory design includes several siloes for material storage.
A usually tall cylindrical structure, typically next to a barn, in which silage is produced and stored.
Any of several other structures or containers used for the same purpose, such as a covered trench or a polyethylene bag.
An underground shelter for a missile, usually equipped to launch the missile or to raise it into a launching position.
Each of the various departments, groups, or processes within a business or organization where work is done in isolation apart from the others.
To store in a silo.
To isolate (a department, group, or process) within a business or organization from others
“Taking a cue from the finance world, he divided the company's departments into 30 distinct units, meaning that the shoe department was siloed from, say, the menswear department” (Gaby Del Valle).
Plural of silo
Repeatedly Asked Queries
Do "Silos" only refer to agricultural structures?
No, "Silos" can also refer to missile storage or isolated organizational systems.
Can "Siloes" be used in academic writing?
Yes, but "Silos" is preferred for consistency.
Which is the correct plural form, "Silos" or "Siloes"?
Both "Silos" and "Siloes" are correct, with "Silos" being more commonly used.
Why are organizational barriers referred to as "Silos"?
Because they represent compartments that are closed off like grain silos.
Is the meaning of "Silos" and "Siloes" different?
No, "Silos" and "Siloes" have the same meanings.
Is one spelling more modern than the other between "Silos" and "Siloes"?
No, they are both modern, but "Silos" is more common.
Are "Siloes" found in reputable dictionaries?
Yes, "Siloes" can be found in several dictionaries as an alternative spelling.
Do "Siloes" have a different pronunciation than "Silos"?
No, they are pronounced the same.
Can "Silos" ever be singular?
No, the singular form is "silo."
Do "Siloes" imply a negative connotation in business?
Yes, as they suggest undesirable separation between departments.
Can "Silos" be used metaphorically?
Yes, "Silos" can metaphorically describe isolated systems or departments within an organization.
Which industries use the term "Silos"?
Agriculture, military, and corporate sectors all use the term "Silos."
What is the origin of "Silos"?
It originates from the Greek word "siros," meaning a pit to keep corn.
How do you reduce "Silos" in an organization?
By promoting communication and collaboration across departments.
Why might someone choose to use "Siloes" over "Silos"?
Personal preference or stylistic choice in writing.
Are "Silos" used in information technology?
Yes, referring to isolated data management systems.
Are "Siloes" typically made of a specific material?
They can be made of metal, concrete, or wood.
Can "Silos" be a verb?
No, "siloed" is the verb form, meaning to isolate or compartmentalize.
Do "Siloes" impact company culture?
Yes, they can negatively affect the openness and collaborative nature of a company culture.
Are there any famous "Silos" landmarks?
Yes, several farms and industrial sites with notable silos are recognized landmarks.
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Written byShumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.