\ˈhā \

Definition of hay 

(Entry 1 of 4)

1 : herbage and especially grass mowed and cured for fodder

2 : reward

3 slang : bed

4 : a small sum of money a saving of … $14 million is not hay— H. C. Schonberg


hayed; haying; hays

Definition of hay (Entry 2 of 4)

intransitive verb

: to cut, cure, and store hay

transitive verb

: to feed with hay


biographical name
\ˈhā \

Definition of Hay (Entry 3 of 4)

John Milton 1838–1905 American statesman


geographical name
\ˈhā \

Definition of Hay (Entry 4 of 4)

river 530 miles (853 kilometers) long in northern Alberta and the southern Northwest Territories, Canada, flowing northeast into Great Slave Lake

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Examples of hay in a Sentence


their credit card debt isn't hay—it'll take years to pay it off dragging myself out of the hay on such a cold, dreary morning seemed like an act of sheer masochism

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Cows without horns eating hay this month in Oberwangen, Switzerland, ahead of Sunday’s national vote on the Horned Cow Initiative. Brian Blackstone, WSJ, "Should Cows Have Horns? Switzerland Will Decide," 23 Nov. 2018 Median list price for the county: $238,000 Harney County: A 2,222-acre hay and cattle farm in Burns is listed at $6.5 million. Janet Eastman, OregonLive.com, "The most expensive homes in each of Oregon's counties (photos)," 12 June 2018 So the solution right now are these smaller companies that are making hay out of the abuses of the bigger companies. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Nobody trusts Facebook anymore. Here’s one way it could change that.," 15 Oct. 2018 But my mom has taught me the importance of always removing makeup before hitting the hay. Talia Green, SELF, "11 Beauty Lessons I Learned From My Makeup Artist Mom," 13 Sep. 2018 Only when there’s heavy frost or snow is hay provided for them. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: German wranglers corral wild stallions," 27 May 2018 And reminiscing together about past experiences will not only pave the way for a romp in the hay, but will also reinforce the bond between you as a couple. Denise Schipani, Woman's Day, "9 Ways to Initiate Sex," 1 Dec. 2011 His car will have to contend with indistinct grass curbs and protective hay bales that might move if someone else crashes into them or they get kicked by the crowd. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "A Racing Robocar Takes On England's Swankiest Track," 7 July 2018 Wade said there were a number of hay bales north of the fire that could become fuel. Kayla Fitzgerald And Molly Sullivan, sacbee, "Grass fire blazes through 150 acres near Sacramento airport," 11 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The fields are still hayed and a small herd of cattle often draws visits from people driving along a busy Route 151. Peter Marteka, Courant Community, "Preserving An East Haddam Farm With A Lifetime Full Of Memories," 18 Aug. 2017 Seybolt used the Belgians to hay, spread manure and log. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Reva Seybolt: A Quiet Force Of Nature," 3 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hay.' 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 hay


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


1535, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for hay


Middle English hey, from Old English hīeg; akin to Old High German hewi hay, Old English hēawan to hew

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Statistics for hay

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hay

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

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More Definitions for hay



English Language Learners Definition of hay

: grass that has been cut and dried to be used as food for animals

: a small amount of money


\ˈhā \

Kids Definition of hay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any of various herbs (as grasses) cut and dried for use as food for animals bales of hay


hayed; haying

Kids Definition of hay (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cut plants for hay

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More from Merriam-Webster on hay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hay

Spanish Central: Translation of hay

Nglish: Translation of hay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hay for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hay

Comments on hay

What made you want to look up hay? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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