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 All eggs contain small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in their yolks, but these birds are fed supplements, like flaxseed, fish oil, and alfalfa meal, to increase those numbers. Sarah Jampel, Bon Appétit, "How to Make Sense of Egg Carton Labels," 3 May 2021 Most farms there are family farms that are among the state’s top producers of cotton, barley, wheat and alfalfa. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Arizona positioned to take on cuts in Colorado River supply," 29 Apr. 2021 Along with his son, brother and nephew, Thelander grows cotton, alfalfa and other crops on 6,500 acres in the desert of Pinal County, Arizona. Drew Kann, CNN, "As a megadrought persists, new projections show a key Colorado River reservoir could sink to a record low later this year," 19 Apr. 2021 The complexity of taking a farm from a blanket of industrial corn to a mosaic of alfalfa, green beans, and olive trees is a costly, complicated endeavor. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Bill Gates and other billionaires are doubling down on a surprising investment—and you can access it, too," 15 Apr. 2021 The deadly incident occurred amid verdant farms that grow a wide variety of vegetables and alfalfa used for cattle feed. NBC News, "Federal authorities launch human smuggling investigation after deadly California crash," 3 Mar. 2021 Brushing—then plowing—through the green alfalfa crop, the DC-3 was cushioned by the thick vegetation. Eric Tegler, Popular Mechanics, "Why the DC-3 Is Such a Badass Plane," 16 Mar. 2021 As the pandemic forced the petting zoo to close for months at a time starting last March, Wolovich and his daughter, Melanie, arrived at 7 a.m. every day to fork out alfalfa and hay, as well as muck out the stalls and chicken coops. Los Angeles Times, "Montebello petting zoo reopens — minus the petting," 8 Mar. 2021 Other plants perform a similar diurnal dance, including agriculturally important crops such as soybeans, cotton and alfalfa. Heidi Ledford, Scientific American, "Sunflowers Move to Internal Rhythm," 15 July 2014

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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Time Traveler for alfalfa

Time Traveler

The first known use of alfalfa was in 1791

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Last Updated

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Alfalfa.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on alfalfa

Nglish: Translation of alfalfa for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about alfalfa

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