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From Old French festu (modern fétu), from Proto-Romance festu, from Latin festūca (stalk, stem, straw).



fescue (plural fescues)

  1. A straw, wire, stick, etc., used chiefly to point out letters to children when learning to read.
    • Milton
      to come under the fescue of an imprimatur
    • 1997, Thomas Pynchon, Mason & Dixon
      ‘Now then,’ Mason rapping upon the Table’s Edge with a sinister-looking Fescue of Ebony, whose List of Uses simple Indication does not quite exhaust, whilst the Girls squirm pleasingly
  2. A hardy grass commonly used to border golf fairways in temperate climates. Any member of the genus Festuca.
  3. An instrument for playing on the harp; a plectrum.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Chapman to this entry?)
  4. The style of a sundial.



fescue (third-person singular simple present fescues, present participle fescuing, simple past and past participle fescued)

  1. To use a fescue, or teach with a fescue.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Milton to this entry?)