1 of 4

verb (1)

grazed; grazing

intransitive verb

: to feed on growing herbage, attached algae, or phytoplankton
cattle grazing on the slopes
: to eat small portions of food throughout the day
She was grazing on snacks all afternoon.

transitive verb

: to crop and eat in the field
: to feed on the herbage of
: to put to graze
grazed his livestock in pastures
: to put cattle to graze on
grazed the upper field
: to supply herbage for the grazing of
That pasture will graze 30 head of cattle.
grazeable adjective
or grazable
grazer noun


2 of 4

noun (1)

: an act of grazing
: herbage for livestock to feed on


3 of 4

verb (2)

grazed; grazing

transitive verb

: to touch lightly in passing
The car's wheel grazed the curb.
: abrade, scratch
grazed her knee when she fell

intransitive verb

: to touch or rub against something in passing
Our fenders just grazed.


4 of 4

noun (2)

: a scraping along a surface or an abrasion made by it
especially : a superficial abrasion of the skin
had a slight graze on her knee from falling

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
The kitchen’s delicious dips are an opportunity to compare and contrast and graze the night away. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 17 May 2023 From sugar to oil to solar power St. James Parish appeared on a map as one of Louisiana’s original 19 parishes authorized by the 1807 Orleans Territorial Legislature, but its founding dates to early 18th-century Colonial settlers near the Mississippi River who grazed cattle. Xander Peters, The Christian Science Monitor, 16 May 2023 Her brows and hair, which grazed her knees, were bleached a platinum blonde to finish off the look. Briannah Rivera, Seventeen, 12 May 2023 The 2014 Nevada confrontation was led by Bundy’s father, rancher Cliven Bundy, who rallied supporters to stop officers from impounding Bundy Ranch cattle over more than $1 million in unpaid fees and penalties for grazing livestock on government land. Rebecca Boone, Chicago Tribune, 7 May 2023 The countryside, meanwhile, can be used for grazing land—part of which is already lent out to a farmer for that very purpose—arable land, and mixed woodland. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 6 May 2023 The herd had been grazing on a hillside in Francisco Park in the Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco, clearing out poison oak and other plants to help reduce fire risk, said Tamara Barak Aperton, a spokesperson with San Francisco Recreation and Parks. oregonlive, 24 Apr. 2023 Washington was taken to a hospital in critical condition and Roth, who was grazed by a bullet, was treated at the scene, police said. Sarah Bahari The Dallas Morning News (tns), al, 21 Apr. 2023 But other than the two California representatives, Houston was the only Sunbelt city to graze the top of the list, sitting at 13th place with 20 billionaires. Tristan Bove, Fortune, 18 Apr. 2023
The 14-year-old had a graze wound in the right arm but refused transportation to a hospital, according to police. Olivia Alexander, Chicago Tribune, 28 May 2023 Walker had 46 gunshot wounds or graze injuries and his death was ruled a homicide, according to the autopsy released by the Summit County Medical Examiner in July. Amanda Garrett, USA TODAY, 10 Apr. 2023 Turnovers starting to show up for Nicolet, but Knights still within a basket The Knights just lost consecutive possessions on unforced turnovers, including a bad pass out of a timeout and a graze of the sideline. Jr Radcliffe, Journal Sentinel, 17 Mar. 2023 Herds of bison graze on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, endemic fossil spring snails cling to rocks found only in streams in parts of the Coconino National Forest, and bald eagles spread their wings over Roosevelt Lake. Jake Frederico, The Arizona Republic, 3 Mar. 2023 An autopsy released in mid-July revealed that Walker had 46 gunshot wound entrances or graze injuries. Praveena Somasundaram, Washington Post, 18 Apr. 2023 Walker suffered 46 gunshot entrance wounds or graze injuries, according to an autopsy by Summit County Medical Examiner Dr. Lisa Kohler. Eric Levenson, CNN, 17 Apr. 2023 The other cheerleader, Heather Roth, suffered a graze wound. Sarah Bahari, Dallas News, 19 Apr. 2023 Walker had 46 wounds, medical examiner found Walker suffered 46 gunshot entrance or graze wounds, according to an autopsy by Summit County Medical Examiner Dr. Lisa Kohler, who found the cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds. Dakin Andone, CNN, 12 Apr. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Verb (1) and Noun (1)

Middle English grasen, from Old English grasian, from græs grass

Verb (2) and Noun (2)

perhaps from graze entry 1

First Known Use

Verb (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun (1)

1857, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1604, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (2)

1847, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of graze was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near graze

Cite this Entry

“Graze.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 3 verb
grazed; grazing
: to feed on growing grass or herbs
cattle grazing on the hill
: to put to feed on grass or herbs
the farmer grazed the cattle


2 of 3 verb
grazed; grazing
: to rub or touch lightly in passing : touch against and quickly move away from
the car's wheel grazed the curb
: to scratch or scrape by rubbing against something
fell and grazed her knee


3 of 3 noun
: an act or result of grazing
especially : a skin injury caused by grazing : scrape

More from Merriam-Webster on graze

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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