verb: to flood or drench with or as if with a flow of released water
noun: an artificial passage for water (as in a millstream) fitted with a valve or gate for stopping or regulating flow; a body of water pent up behind a floodgate

Sluice rhymes with juice. Sluice is more common as a noun, but I like the verb form better. Probably the first time the word had any kind of effect on me was when I was in college and I read it in a book by Doris Lessing called The Grass Is Singing. That was 15 years ago, so I’m afraid to consider what useful information the memory of sluice has crowded out of my little brain.

Just for a lark, I visited, found the book, and ran a search on sluice. When nothing came up, I tried sluiced and—wouldn’t you know it?—it found the reference for me: “Moses vaulted over the veranda wall, alighting squarely on his feet in the squelch of rain which sluiced off his shoulders, soaking him in an instant.”

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