alfalfa

noun
al·​fal·​fa | \ al-ˈfal-fə How to pronounce alfalfa (audio) \

Definition of alfalfa

: a deep-rooted leguminous perennial plant (Medicago sativa) of southwestern Asia that is widely grown for hay and forage

Examples of alfalfa in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Farmers are growing less alfalfa to feed their animals and more corn, which requires more nitrogen fertilizer. Jesse Newman And Patrick Mcgroarty, WSJ, "Farms, More Productive Than Ever, Are Poisoning Drinking Water in Rural America," 18 Jan. 2019 Top with ½ cup alfalfa sprouts, halved hard boiled egg and ½ avocado, quartered lengthwise. Eleanore Park, WSJ, "How to Win the Weekday Lunch Game," 30 Aug. 2018 One great way to boost nitrogen is by planting leguminous cover crops, such as alfalfa, clover, hairy vetch, or peas. Beth Hanson, Good Housekeeping, "Grow Healthier Crops Using These Natural Nitrogen Sources," 24 Aug. 2015 The area is surrounded by farm fields of alfalfa, pecans and other crops. Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ, "Trump Defends Family-Separation Policy," 18 June 2018 Goldenrods, daisies, alfalfa, and yarrow will attract these helpful bugs. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "10 Insects You Should Actually Want Around Your Plants," 11 May 2016 Much of the acreage has been used for years to grow corn, wheat, potatoes, alfalfa and other crops. Sven Berg, idahostatesman, "Star's growth is inevitable. Here's how it'll affect Boise and the Treasure Valley | Idaho Statesman," 4 May 2018 Even the American cheese involves coloring from bee-pollinated annatto, milk from dairy cows that eat bee-pollinated alfalfa, and an emulsifier made from soybeans, which can self-pollinate, but produce higher yields if bees are present. Thor Hanson, WSJ, "The Plight of the Humble Bee," 29 June 2018 But if all goes according to plan, the alfalfa and seed oats now growing in two of the Brunsons' fields will be replaced next year by some 35,000 photovoltaic panels. Hal Bernton, The Christian Science Monitor, "Solar panel proposal faces opposition in Washington State," 7 May 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of alfalfa

1791, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for alfalfa

Spanish, modification of Arabic dialect al-faṣfaṣa the alfalfa

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about alfalfa

Statistics for alfalfa

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for alfalfa

The first known use of alfalfa was in 1791

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for alfalfa

alfalfa

noun

English Language Learners Definition of alfalfa

: a type of plant that is grown mostly as food for farm animals

alfalfa

noun
al·​fal·​fa | \ al-ˈfal-fə How to pronounce alfalfa (audio) \

Kids Definition of alfalfa

: a plant with purple flowers that is related to the clovers and is grown as a food for horses and cattle

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on alfalfa

Spanish Central: Translation of alfalfa

Nglish: Translation of alfalfa for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about alfalfa

Comments on alfalfa

What made you want to look up alfalfa? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!