fallow

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English falow, from Old English fealh (fallow land), from Proto-Germanic *falgō (compare East Frisian falge, Dutch valg, German Felge), from Proto-Indo-European *polḱéh₂ (arable land) (compare Gaulish olca, Russian полоса́ (polosá)).

Noun[edit]

fallow (countable and uncountable, plural fallows)

  1. (agriculture, uncountable) Ground ploughed and harrowed but left unseeded for one year.
  2. (agriculture, uncountable) Uncultivated land.
  3. (agriculture, obsolete, countable) An area of fallow land.
  4. The ploughing or tilling of land, without sowing it for a season.
    • Sinclair
      By a complete summer fallow, land is rendered tender and mellow. The fallow gives it a better tilth than can be given by a fallow crop.
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Adjective[edit]

fallow

  1. (of agricultural land) Ploughed but left unseeded for more than one planting season.
  2. Inactive; undeveloped.
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Verb[edit]

fallow (third-person singular simple present fallows, present participle fallowing, simple past and past participle fallowed)

  1. (transitive) To make land fallow for agricultural purposes.
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Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English falwe, from Old English fealu, from Proto-Germanic *falwaz (compare West Frisian feal, Dutch vaal, German falb, fahl), from Proto-Indo-European *polʷos (compare Lithuanian pal̃vas 'sallow, wan', Serbo-Croatian plâv 'blond, blue', Ancient Greek πολιός (poliós) 'grey'), from Proto-Indo-European *pel- 'pale'.

Adjective[edit]

fallow (comparative more fallow, superlative most fallow)

  1. Of a pale red or yellow, light brown; dun.
    a fallow deer or greyhound
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
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References[edit]

  • fallow” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).