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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Tasked with revitalizing the historic brand, the Belgian designer found joy in reimagining Western fashion tropes, like the delicate piping of a men’s cowboy shirt or the fluttering hem of a gingham prairie skirt. Monica Kim, Vogue, "Penultimate Is a New American Fashion Fantasy, Written By a Chinese Immigrant," 26 Mar. 2019 Caustic humor occasionally wells up from the parched prairie. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, "In the old-school 'Buried Child,' Sam Shepard understood what still pains Illinois," 17 May 2018 They are found in a variety of habitats, from open prairies to wetlands. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Great Wisconsin Birdathon takes flight during Year of the Bird," 5 Apr. 2018 These prairies bring the prairie ecosystem into the city where students learn about science, history, culture, economics, and global environmental stewardship. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Snooze Pancake Day raises funds for Katy Prairie," 12 Mar. 2018 More like a post-apocalyptic prairie seen through a B-movie lens. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, "Calvin Klein’s Electrifying Popcorn Fashion Apocalypse," 14 Feb. 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about prairie

Statistics for prairie

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prairie

The first known use of prairie was circa 1682

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on prairie

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

WORD OF THE DAY

incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!