Share this entry

Share this page

manure

Syllabification: ma·nure
Pronunciation: /məˈn(y)o͝or
 
/

Definition of manure in English:

noun

1Animal dung used for fertilizing land.
Example sentences
  • Ancient farmers discovered that plant yield could be increased on a plot of land by spreading animal manure throughout.
  • High rainfall washes more animal manure off the land into watercourses.
  • The increase in animal density has presented a challenge in the collection, storage, and land application of manure.
Synonyms
dung, muck, excrement, droppings, ordure, guano, cow pats;
fertilizer
informal cow chips, road apples, horse apples, buffalo chips, cow-pies, cow patties, cow flops
1.1Any compost or artificial fertilizer.
Example sentences
  • Organic fertilizers and manures may also be used.
  • Most organic farmers try to supply their nitrogen needs with legumes in the crop rotation or with manures and composts.
  • The findings will be used to minimise application of chemical fertilisers and using organic manures.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
Apply manure to (land): the ground should be well dug and manured
More example sentences
  • He manured his arable land meticulously and liberally, offering to care for his neighbours' cattle free of charge over the winter months in order to guarantee his supply.
  • We cleaned horse stalls, manured the land by hand, and the landlord plowed it.
  • They had been working hard at manuring our fruit trees after the recent rains.

Origin

late Middle English (as a verb in the sense 'cultivate (land)'): from Anglo-Norman French mainoverer, Old French manouvrer (see maneuver). The noun sense dates from the mid 16th century.

More
  • manoeuvre from (mid 18th century):

    Soldiers, sailors, and farmers come together in the words manoeuvre and manure (Late Middle English), which share the Latin origin manu operari ‘to work with the hand’, from manus ‘hand’ ( see manage, manner). The earliest sense of manoeuvre, which came from French in the mid 18th century, was ‘a planned movement of military or naval forces’. Old French gave us manure in the late Middle Ages. Then it had the senses ‘to cultivate land’ and ‘to administer or manage land or property’—the use for dung used on the land dates from the mid 16th century.

Definition of manure in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day gourmand
Pronunciation: ˈɡʊəmənd
noun
a person who enjoys eating…