Soil Health Benchmarks definition:

Soil, the biologically active, porous medium that has developed in the uppermost layer of Earth’s crust and is one of the principal substrata of life on Earth. Soil is a complex, dynamic, and living system that is formed over time through the interaction of physical, chemical, and biological processes. It is composed of mineral particles of varying sizes, organic matter, water, and air, all of which interact to form a matrix that supports plant growth and provides a habitat for soil organisms.

Britannica (2023) Encyclopaedia Britannica. Available at: https://www.britannica.com/ (Accessed: 10 July 2023).

Political definition:

The top layer of the Earth’s crust situated between the bedrock and the land surface, which is composed of mineral particles, organic matter, water, air and living organisms.

European Commission (2023) Proposal for a Directive on Soil Monitoring and Resilience. Available at: https://environment.ec.europa.eu/publications/proposal-directive-soil-monitoring-and-resilience_en.

Related terms: Provisioning, Regulation and Maintenance, Cultural