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

The Kehmeier family has been farming on the same land ever since, growing alfalfa, hay and oats. Lucas Isakowitz, Time, "How to Save the Colorado River from Climate Change and Chronic Overuse," 3 Sep. 2019 The $9 million project, which broke ground in May, will help better dispose of wastewater, using storage ponds and alfalfa to make the town’s water supply safer and more green. Natalie Hanson, The Mercury News, "Small-town serenity sets Biggs apart in Northern California ‘housing catastrophe’," 29 July 2019 Tractor-trailers haul away manure to be spread on more than 10,000 acres nearby where Mr. Kinnard says his family grows corn and alfalfa as feed. Jesse Newman And Patrick Mcgroarty, WSJ, "Farms, More Productive Than Ever, Are Poisoning Drinking Water in Rural America," 18 Jan. 2019 Local fishermen, residents and donkey do-gooders in addition to Markarian drop off treasures, such as alfalfa, carrots and apples. Steve Rubenstein,, "Stranded donkey has plenty to bray about — former cop wants to rescue her," 8 Aug. 2019 The sheriff's department said Monday that Maximus was recovering by running around his pasture and chowing on some alfalfa. Fox News, "Horse punched, 4 deputies injured after drunken fight breaks out at California county fair, sheriff's office says," 23 July 2019 Serve burgers on buns, topped with tomato, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, and onion, passing extra burger sauce separately. Chris Ross, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Skillet-cooked turkey burger has West Coast vibe," 16 July 2019 Farmers can see a big profit boost over standard Arizona crops like cotton or alfalfa, Pullen said, netting $600 per acre compared with about $100 for standard crops like cotton. Washington Post, "State, federal laws now allow Arizona farmers to grow hemp," 7 June 2019 Called a green birdflower or regal birdflower, this stunning plant belongs to the legume family (hello, chickpeas and alfalfa). Selena Barrientos, House Beautiful, "This Plant’s Flowers Are Shaped Like the Cutest Hummingbirds," 10 July 2019

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.

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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

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Statistics for alfalfa

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for alfalfa

The first known use of alfalfa was in 1791

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More Definitions for alfalfa



English Language Learners Definition of alfalfa

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


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

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More from Merriam-Webster on alfalfa

Spanish Central: Translation of alfalfa

Nglish: Translation of alfalfa for Spanish Speakers 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).


to make a temporary encampment

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