AskDefine | Define meadow

Dictionary Definition

meadow n : a field where grass or alfalfa are grown to be made into hay [syn: hayfield]

User Contributed Dictionary



Old English mǣdwe, inflected form of mǣd, from Germanic *mǣdwon, from Proto-Indo-European *metwa- (*me-, ‘mow’). Compare mead.


  • /ˈmɛdəʊ/


  1. A field or pasture; a piece of land covered or cultivated with grass, usually intended to be mown for hay; an area of low lying vegetation, especially near a river.


Extensive Definition

A meadow is a field vegetated primarily by grass and other non-woody plants. It may be cut for hay or grazed by livestock such as cattle, sheep or goats.

Agricultural meadow

Especially in the United Kingdom, the term meadow is commonly used in its original sense to mean a haymeadow – grassland mown annually for hay (Old English mædwe). "Pasture" is used in contrast for land which is primarily grazed, which may include grassland ("grass pasture"), but also includes non-grassland habitats such as heathland, moorland and wood pasture. "Grassland" is used to include both meadow and grass pasture.

Transitional meadows

A transitional meadow occurs when a field, pasture, farmland, or other cleared land is no longer farmed or heavily grazed and starts to overgrow. Once meadow conditions are achieved, however, the condition is only temporary because the early colonizers will be shaded out when woody plants become well-established.
In North America prior to European colonization, Algonquian, Iroquois and other Native American people regularly cleared areas of forest to create transitional meadows where deer could find nutrition and be hunted. Many places named "Deerfield" are located at sites where Native Americans once practised this form of land management.

Perpetual meadow

A perpetual meadow is one in which environmental factors restrict the growth of woody plants indefinitely. For example:
meadow in Bulgarian: Ливада
meadow in Czech: Louka (zemědělství)
meadow in Danish: Eng
meadow in German: Wiese (Grünland)
meadow in Spanish: Prado
meadow in Lithuanian: Pieva
meadow in Macedonian: Ливада
meadow in Dutch: Made (weiland)
meadow in Polish: Łąka
meadow in Russian: Луг
meadow in Slovak: Lúka
meadow in Slovenian: Travnik
meadow in Finnish: Niitty
meadow in Swedish: Äng
meadow in Ukrainian: Лука (рослинність)
meadow in Samogitian: Pėiva

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

baygall, bog, bottom, bottomland, bottoms, buffalo wallow, campo, everglade, fen, fenland, field, glade, grass, grass veld, grassland, grazing, haugh, haughland, hog wallow, holm, lea, llano, marais, marish, marsh, marshland, mead, meadow land, mere, mire, moor, moorland, morass, moss, mud, mud flat, pampa, pampas, park, pasturage, pasture, pasture land, peat bog, prairie, quagmire, quicksand, range, salt marsh, savanna, slob land, slough, sough, steppe, steppeland, sump, swale, swamp, swampland, taiga, vega, veld, wallow, wash
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