prairie

noun, often attributive
prai·​rie | \ ˈprer-ē How to pronounce prairie (audio) \

Definition of prairie

1 : land in or predominantly in grass
2 : a tract of grassland: such as
a : a large area of level or rolling land in the Mississippi River valley that in its natural uncultivated state usually has deep fertile soil, a cover of tall coarse grasses, and few trees
b : one of the dry treeless plateaus east of the Rocky Mountains that merge on their east side with the prairies proper and are characterized by shorter grasses and drier less fertile soil

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Examples of prairie in a Sentence

Millions of buffalo once roamed the prairies. The train tracks extend over miles of prairie.

Recent Examples on the Web

Vogueworld Saturday Night Live’s Aidy Bryant Reveals Her Flair for Fashion on Jimmy Fallon Ever since bursting onto the fashion scene in 2016, designer Batsheva Hay has ignited a craze for her kitschy-cool prairie dresses. Vogue, "Saturday Night Live’s Aidy Bryant Reveals Her Flair for Fashion on Jimmy Fallon," 20 Mar. 2019 Burning grass, smoking gun The prairie sometimes burns naturally, as lightning strikes can spark wildfires. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Native Americans managed the prairie for better bison hunts," 25 July 2018 There are times when these endless prairies feel downright claustrophobic. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Chloé Zhao's cowboy drama 'The Rider' is a moving, lyrical tale of loss and recovery," 10 Apr. 2018 From the perfect swimsuit coverup and the comfortably stylish prairie dress to the perfect short dress that’s dinner friendly but will also look great on the dance floor, the options (and necessities) are endless. Teen Vogue, "Get Ready for Spring Break With These 15 Dresses," 21 Mar. 2019 The brand Batsheva is fully committed to the prairie. Robin Givhan, The Seattle Times, "Are designers trolling us with ‘ugly’ fashion — or is it us?," 6 Aug. 2018 Photos of its badlands and prairies enchanted me, and the story of Teddy Roosevelt's sojourn there following the deaths of his wife and mother on the same day intrigued me. Beth J. Harpaz, chicagotribune.com, "Badlands and history in Theodore Roosevelt National Park," 5 July 2018 Woodlands, prairies, algae, mangroves, wetlands, and soil withdraw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and keep it from going back, tipping the balance negative. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere, explained," 24 Oct. 2018 When the judge announced on February 9, that the jury had found Stanley not guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter, many of our Indigenous relations from the prairies weren’t surprised. Lindsay Nixon, Teen Vogue, "The Killing of Colten Boushie and Outcome of Gerald Stanley's Trial Represent a Bigger Problem," 14 Feb. 2018

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

circa 1682, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for prairie

French, from Old French praierie, from Vulgar Latin *prataria, from Latin pratum meadow

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Statistics for prairie

Last Updated

13 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prairie

The first known use of prairie was circa 1682

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More Definitions for prairie

prairie

noun

English Language Learners Definition of prairie

: a large, mostly flat area of land in North America that has few trees and is covered in grasses

prairie

noun
prai·​rie | \ ˈprer-ē How to pronounce prairie (audio) \

Kids Definition of prairie

: a large area of level or rolling grassland

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Comments on prairie

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