From Old English mǣdwe, inflected form of mǣd (see mead), from Proto-Germanic *mēdwō (compare West Frisian miede, dialectal Dutch made, dialectal German Matte (“mountain pasture”)), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂met- ‘to mow, reap’ (compare Welsh medi, Latin metere, Ancient Greek ámētos (“reaping”)), englargement of *h₂meh₁-. More at mow.
meadow (plural meadows)
- 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.
1879, Richard Jefferies, chapter 1, The Amateur Poacher:
- But then I had the [massive] flintlock by me for protection. ¶ […] The linen-press and a chest on the top of it formed, however, a very good gun-carriage; and, thus mounted, aim could be taken out of the window at the old mare feeding in the meadow below by the brook, […] .
- Low land covered with coarse grass or rank herbage near rivers and in marshy places by the sea.
- the salt meadows near Newark Bay
2013 January 1, Nancy Langston, “The Fraught History of a Watery World”, American Scientist, volume 101, number 1, page 59:
- European adventurers found themselves within a watery world, a tapestry of streams, channels, wetlands, lakes and lush riparian meadows enriched by floodwaters from the Mississippi River.
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