switchgrass

noun

switch·​grass ˈswich-ˌgras How to pronounce switchgrass (audio)
: a tall North American panic grass (Panicum virgatum) that is used for hay and forage

Examples of switchgrass in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The bacteria can work on any type of biomass, including wood chip, switchgrass, and the plant parts that are left behind after a harvest--all contain cellulose, a structural material that comprises much of a plant's mass. Smriti Rao, Discover Magazine, 28 Jan. 2010 After two weeks, nitrogen-15 made up 28 per cent of the nitrogen in the bean and 32 per cent of that in the switchgrass. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 21 June 2012 Or when a springer spaniel levitates from the switchgrass, jaws snapping at a pheasant’s tail feathers. Kyle Wintersteen, Field & Stream, 30 Jan. 2023 One possibility is to pull out the energy-rich sugar locked up in the lignin and cellulose of crop wastes or switchgrass. Carl Zimmer, Discover Magazine, 10 Aug. 2012 By planting wild indigo, gray birch, and switchgrass, his goal was to take a chunk of the Catskills and put it on his roof. The Editors, Outside Online, 10 Nov. 2020 University of York biologists Neil Bruce and Liz Rylott and their colleagues altered a switchgrass variety to carry two genes from a bacterium that produces enzymes capable of reducing RDX into harmless components. Susan Cosier, Scientific American, 19 July 2021 The team mapped the genomes of more than 700 different switchgrass plants. Lee Roop | Lroop@al.com, al, 12 Feb. 2021 This relies on harvesting new carbon-sucking crops like switchgrass for fuel, then capturing the resulting emissions through machines that filter out emissions from where the power is generated. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 24 Dec. 2020

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

Word History

Etymology

alteration of quitch (grass)

First Known Use

1840, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of switchgrass was in 1840

Dictionary Entries Near switchgrass

Cite this Entry

“Switchgrass.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/switchgrass. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

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