agrar·​i·​an | \ ə-ˈgrer-ē-ən How to pronounce agrarian (audio) \

Definition of agrarian

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to fields or lands or their tenure agrarian landscapes
2a : of, relating to, or characteristic of farmers or their way of life agrarian values
b : organized or designed to promote agricultural interests an agrarian political party



Definition of agrarian (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for agrarian

Synonyms: Adjective

agricultural, farming

Antonyms: Adjective


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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 agros, meaning "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


a town founded in 1811 as an agrarian community

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

My mom, a Greek farmer who’d immigrated here from an agrarian village, had spent the early years of my childhood growing lush string beans, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers on the side of our house along the Upper Darby trolley tracks. Maria Panaritis,, "My child has never known his grandmom. But somehow he found her spring flower | Maria Panaritis," 30 May 2018 Its leader, Pol Pot, set on creating an agrarian utopia, wiped out the nation’s intellectuals and middle class and killed around two million people. Elizabeth Williamson, New York Times, "Behind the Bar, Mixing Drinks With Aid for a Faraway Home," 9 July 2018 In 1880, in the wake of agrarian insurrection in Ireland, Lansdowne resigned a junior office rather than support William Gladstone’s Irish land reform. William Anthony Hay, WSJ, "‘Lansdowne’ Review: Noble Aspirations," 26 Dec. 2018 But the Southeast Asian country’s trains gradually fell into disuse following the rise of the Khmer Rouge, a genocidal agrarian regime that killed an estimated 20% of Cambodia’s population between 1975 and 1979, many at the infamous Killing Fields. Eli Meixler / Phnom Penh, Time, "Riding the Rails: Phnom Penh's Airport Train Is a Milestone for Cambodia," 4 June 2018 Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz, the leader of the small agrarian Polish People's Party, accused Duda, who is a practicing Catholic, of rejecting the teaching of Poland's top authority, the late pope St. John Paul II, who advocated for EU membership. Fox News, "Polish leader slammed for saying EU has little relevance," 12 Sep. 2018 The issue has particularly polarized Nigeria, especially in the Middle Belt, the agrarian bread basket that stretches across the country. Emmanuel Akinwotu, New York Times, "Nigeria’s Farmers and Herders Fight a Deadly Battle for Scarce Resources," 25 June 2018 And all of them encourage kids to do, and take responsibility for, tasks that are part of our agrarian past. Anne Schamberg, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Farming out the kids: Gathering eggs, milking cows, cooking teach about country life," 3 July 2018 For an agrarian society like England, the factory generated a wistfulness for the bucolic agricultural past. Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, "In ‘Behemoth,’ Manufacturing Still Looms Large," 7 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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, "Moving Portrait," 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, "What the rise of populist movements means for democracy.," 19 July 2017 Jefferson, an agrarian, generally opposed a strong central government. Jonathan W. White, Smithsonian, "Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr and the American Way of Treason," 17 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'agrarian.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of agrarian


1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1795, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for agrarian


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

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Statistics for agrarian

Last Updated

9 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for agrarian

The first known use of agrarian was in 1593

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English Language Learners Definition of agrarian

: of or relating to farms and farming

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More from Merriam-Webster on agrarian

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Spanish Central: Translation of agrarian

Nglish: Translation of agrarian for Spanish Speakers

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