\ ˈhā How to pronounce hay (audio) \

Definition of hay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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 2)

intransitive verb

: to cut, cure, and store hay

transitive verb

: to feed with hay

Examples of hay in a Sentence

Noun 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 Farmers working with Coventry University to phase out toxins from organic farming in Europe have pointed to the potential of using existing biodegradable scraps on their farm like grass clippings, hay, and fibers as mulching. Clarisa Diaz, Quartz, 29 Apr. 2022 On Saturday, Nez and other organizations such as Flagstaff’s Family Food Center helped distribute the necessities like hay, animal feed and food to Navajos and non-Navajos affected by the fire. Arlyssa Becenti, The Arizona Republic, 25 Apr. 2022 The caretakers have been placing feed and hay in an area near the farm to try to lure the zebras and corral them. Washington Post, 20 Aug. 2021 Commercial rabbit pellets are a good supplement to the hay, as are barley and oats. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, 30 Apr. 2022 The hay is normally in the barn by now, but such is life when there’s not a quarterback available worthy of the honor. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Apr. 2022 Also a roll in the synthetic hay is not the actual assignment. Sam Lipsyte, Harper’s Magazine , 27 Apr. 2022 Pale fish hung drying under black eaves, and again villagers were bringing in the hay. Sarah Moss, Travel + Leisure, 20 Feb. 2022 As a bettor, realize the hay is in the barn for this season. Christopher Smith, al, 7 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The holiday is loaded with customs such as leaving grass or hay out for the three kings in exchange for a gift. Gabriela Miranda, USA TODAY, 6 Jan. 2022 Three Kings Day, normally celebrated Jan. 6, is loaded with customs such as leaving grass or hay out for the three wise men in exchange for a gift. Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9 Jan. 2022 North Dakota ranchers usually aren’t allowed to hay that land until after Aug. 1, when nesting season ends, to protect wildlife populations. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 23 July 2021 North Dakota ranchers all summer have been seeking federal government permission to also hay that land. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 26 July 2021 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, 18 Aug. 2017 Seybolt used the Belgians to hay, spread manure and log. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, 3 May 2017 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for hay

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

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Dictionary Entries Near hay

haw tree



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Statistics for hay

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hay. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for hay


\ ˈhā How to pronounce hay (audio) \

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

Hay biographical name

\ ˈhā How to pronounce Hay (audio) \

Definition of Hay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

John Milton 1838–1905 American statesman


geographical name
\ ˈhā How to pronounce Hay (audio) \

Definition of Hay (Entry 2 of 2)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on hay

Nglish: Translation of hay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hay for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hay


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