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agrar·​i·​an ə-ˈgrer-ē-ən How to pronounce agrarian (audio)
: of or relating to fields or lands or their tenure
agrarian landscapes
: of, relating to, or characteristic of farmers or their way of life
agrarian values
: organized or designed to promote agricultural interests
an agrarian political party


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: a member of an agrarian party or movement (see agrarian entry 1 sense 2b)

Did you know?

Today, an acre is generally considered to be a unit of land measuring 43,560 square feet (4,047 square meters). Before that standard was set, it's believed that an acre represented a rougher measurement: the amount of land that could be plowed in one day with a yoke of oxen. Both acre and agrarian derive from the Latin noun ager and the Greek noun agrós, meaning "piece of land, field." (You can probably guess that agriculture is another descendant.) Agrarian, first used in English in the 16th century, describes things pertaining to the cultivation of fields, as well as the farmers who cultivate them.

Examples of agrarian in a Sentence

Adjective a town founded in 1811 as an agrarian community
Recent Examples on the Web
What Makes a Life Matter? David Buckel grew up in an agrarian family in Batavia, N.Y., and began his post-college career as a home health aide. John Leland, New York Times, 19 Nov. 2023 The family farms of new England were part of a widespread agrarian culture dominated by livestock and tillage fields that began with European settler colonialism in the early 17th century and required many fences to manage separate parcels of land. Robert Thorson, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 Nov. 2023 Those tires contained guayule, part of an agrarian prototype effort from Bridgestone, the supplier of spec tires for that series. Tim Stevens, The Verge, 17 Nov. 2023 The country was primarily an agrarian society at the time, with most families having some sort of livestock that produced milk for cheese—and people loved to dabble in the paranormal. Jennifer Billock, Saveur, 16 Nov. 2023 People cut down old-growth forests to create an agrarian society. Robert Thorson, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 Nov. 2023 The coders of the agrarian days probably futzed with waterwheels and crop varietals; in the Newtonian era, they might have been obsessed with glass, and dyes, and timekeeping. James Somers, The New Yorker, 13 Nov. 2023 That has led to a crossroads, as farmers, ranchers and agriculture companies ponder what should be grown and what best practices look like for an agrarian system that humans have refined for more than 12,000 years. Laura Reiley, Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2023 If your grandma likes to garden, get her this agrarian tool basket from Williams Sonoma. Enjanae' Taylor, Southern Living, 7 Nov. 2023
The Eldon house that Wood depicted, built in 1881, wasn’t the ancestral home of sturdy agrarians. Daniel Immerwahr, The New Yorker, 16 Oct. 2023 Even if you’re not blessed with a home that’s contemporaneous with George Washington—or couldn’t distinguish between John Deere and John Derian in a police lineup, for that matter—there are still ways to embrace your inner agrarian. Anna Fixsen, ELLE Decor, 15 Mar. 2023 The writer-agrarian-soil conservationist founded Malabar Farm in Mansfield. Marc Bona, cleveland, 7 Dec. 2020 Closing the forts frustrated foreclosure proceedings; moreover, for Shay’s enraged agrarians, the courts were a tangible symbol of the eastern moneyed interest and of a government unresponsive to their needs. Thomas Wendel, National Review, 4 July 2019 Southern agrarians disdained capitalism; Peter Viereck spent his time lecturing Americans on the virtues of Metternich and that great homegrown Tory, FDR. Richard Brookhiser, National Review, 4 June 2019 There are the populares of Ancient Rome, the agrarians of nineteenth-century Wisconsin, and the Peronists of twentieth-century Argentina. Yascha Mounk, New Republic, 19 July 2017 Jefferson, an agrarian, generally opposed a strong central government. Jonathan W. White, Smithsonian, 17 Mar. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'agrarian.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Latin agrārius "of landed property" (from agr-, ager "piece of land, field" + -ārius -ary entry 2) + -an entry 2 — more at acre


derivative of agrarian entry 1

First Known Use


1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1795, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of agrarian was in 1593


Dictionary Entries Near agrarian

Cite this Entry

“Agrarian.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: of or relating to fields or lands or their ownership
agrarian reforms
: of, relating to, or concerned with farmers or farming interests
an agrarian political party
: agricultural sense 2
an agrarian country

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