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

Definition of fallow (Entry 4 of 4)

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

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Other Words from fallow

Adjective (2)

fallowness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for fallow

Synonyms: Adjective (2)

Antonyms: Adjective (2)

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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

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Fallow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fallow. Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fallow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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