adjective (1)
fal·​low | \ ˈfa-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce fallow (audio) \

Definition of fallow

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: of a light yellowish-brown color a fallow greyhound



Definition of fallow (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : usually cultivated land that is allowed to lie idle during the growing season
2 obsolete : plowed land
3 : the state or period of being fallow Summer fallow is effective for destroying weeds.
4 : the tilling of land without sowing it for a season


fallowed; fallowing; fallows

Definition of fallow (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

: to plow, harrow, and break up (land) without seeding to destroy weeds and conserve soil moisture


adjective (2)

Definition of fallow (Entry 4 of 4)

1 : left untilled or unsown after plowing
2 : dormant, inactive used especially in the phrase to lie fallow at this very moment there are probably important inventions lying fallowHarper's

Other Words from fallow

Adjective (2)

fallowness noun

First Known Use of fallow

Adjective (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fallow

Adjective (1)

Middle English falow, from Old English fealu; akin to Old High German falo pale, fallow, Latin pallēre to be pale, Greek polios gray

Noun, Verb, and Adjective (2)

Middle English falwe, falow, from Old English fealg — more at felly

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Time Traveler for fallow

The first known use of fallow was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for fallow


fal·​low | \ ˈfa-lō How to pronounce fallow (audio) \

Kids Definition of fallow

: not tilled or planted fallow fields

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More from Merriam-Webster on fallow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fallow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fallow

Spanish Central: Translation of fallow

Nglish: Translation of fallow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fallow for Arabic Speakers

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something desired as essential

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