al·​fal·​fa al-ˈfal-fə How to pronounce alfalfa (audio)
: 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 Bees pollinate forage crops like alfalfa, which feed cows. Tribune News Service, The Mercury News, 2 Apr. 2024 In the past, organic gardeners had no choice but to use single material fertilizers such as blood meal, alfalfa meal or cottonseed meal. Maureen Gilmer, Charlotte Observer, 1 Feb. 2024 Two particular crops used for cattle feed -- alfalfa and grass haze -- accounted for one-third of all the Colorado River's water. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 28 Mar. 2024 The Imperial Irrigation District in far Southern California had been gearing up to begin a water conservation program next month that would pay farmers to temporarily stop watering crops such as alfalfa and wheat in an effort to save supplies. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 27 Mar. 2024 The team is still processing data for lemon trees and alfalfa. The Arizona Republic, 15 Mar. 2024 Amend tired soil with 2-4 inches of fresh soil, 2 inches compost, and a combo of growth enhancing natural fertilizers such as worm castings, alfalfa, and kelp meal. Kristin Guy, Sunset Magazine, 12 Mar. 2024 The hard-scrabble, agricultural community produces alfalfa, lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, corn, melons and citrus, The city is fast becoming famous more another export: wrestlers. Don Norcross, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Feb. 2024 And Idaho, long famous for potatoes, is now America’s largest producer of alfalfa to feed the cows that supply the state’s huge cheese factories. Christopher Flavelle, New York Times, 25 Dec. 2023

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

Word History


Spanish, modification of Arabic dialect al-faṣfaṣa the alfalfa

First Known Use

1791, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of alfalfa was in 1791

Dictionary Entries Near alfalfa

Cite this Entry

“Alfalfa.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


al·​fal·​fa al-ˈfal-fə How to pronounce alfalfa (audio)
: a deep-rooted southwest Asian plant of the legume family with purple flowers and leaves like clover that is widely grown for hay and forage

More from Merriam-Webster on alfalfa

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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