I often hear people (and myself) say that something is "siloed off from" something else, meaning that is is isolated (or, in software, sandboxed) and allowed to work without affecting something else.

However, I don't see this definition reflected on Wiktionary or Merriam-Webster. Is this a real phrase, or are these people using the term erroneously?

  • It's "commonly accepted" business jargon. – Hot Licks May 2 '16 at 21:39
  • Sounds like it was derived from "*siphoned off from *". My guess is that someone misspoke and tumbled upon a useful neologism, meaning (again, a guess) that what is split off is segregated, i.e., siloed. – Drew May 2 '16 at 23:31
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    Anything that gets used, especially multiple times, is "a real phrase". – Drew May 2 '16 at 23:33
  • Not sure about the off, but to silo something has been around for a while. From google silo: verb 1. isolate (one system, process, department, etc.) from others. – Phil Sweet May 3 '16 at 4:21
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    Possible duplicate of What is the metaphoric meaning of silo? – Mazura May 3 '16 at 5:20

To silo is a transitive verb, the usage you are referring to is a probably a slang one:

  • Isolate (one system, process, department, etc.) from others:

    • most companies have expensive IT systems they have developed over the years, but they are siloed
    • why are so many companies still siloing their SEO and social media marketing?
  • (as adjective) siloed managers have been told to break down the walls between siloed applications



I'm surprised not to find more about this online -- it may be a bit too recent and/or esoteric to have found its way into the literature. This is related to the term "information silo", see Wikipedia HERE.

It can be seen as somewhat similar to "fork". Open source projects are sometimes "forked" into a new version which is related to the original and the ongoing one, but with differences introduced that may or may not make the two versions incompatible. If totally incompatible, then the fork may now be in its own "silo", and no longer compatible.

And is, hence, "siloed off".

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    Seems more like a comment than an answer... – Drew May 2 '16 at 23:32
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    @Drew Seems a little chatty to be a good comment... – Matt C May 3 '16 at 0:13
  • @Drew - Seems to be the best answer so far. – Hot Licks May 3 '16 at 1:00
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    It should be noted that the term "silo" can apply to divisions at any level. Hence, an entire line of business might be "siloed off" into an independent subsidiary. – Hot Licks May 3 '16 at 1:02
  • The dupe I linked above, appeared as the second hit after I googled siloed himself off – Mazura May 3 '16 at 5:24

siloed off has 12,500 hits. Seems redundant - like it could just be siloed.
But I hear it more as siloed off. And I hear it all the time

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