Definition of grass in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɡrɑːs/


1 [mass noun] Vegetation consisting of typically short plants with long, narrow leaves, growing wild or cultivated on lawns and pasture, and as a fodder crop.
Example sentences
  • The ground was mostly barren with just short grass, where no vegetation dared to grow.
  • There are all sorts of ways to get grass or crops to grow.
  • But it was not too hard to do this at this time of year when wild grass grew abundantly in the fields.
turf, greenery, green, sod;
lawn, field, pasture, meadow, grassland, grasslands;
blades of grass;
South African  veld
literary sward, mead, lea
1.1Ground covered with grass.
Example sentences
  • Some ducks, such as mallard and pintail, will nest in grass and lush ground cover up to a kilometre or more away from the water body.
  • Include some bare ground rather than all grass, ground cover, or mulch.
  • What a lovely, fast, practically empty stretch of motorway that is - so new the embankments to either side aren't yet covered by grass.
1.2Pasture land: the farms were mostly given over to grass
More example sentences
  • He runs a herd of 70 Friesian-Holstein dairy cattle on his 200-acre farm where all but 50 acres of the land is in grass.
  • Most of the land is under grass at the moment and carries a flock of 265 ewes and a small Aberdeen Angus herd, as well as commercial cattle for fattening.
  • The land is all in grass and there is part of an old farmhouse and outoffices on it, as well as good road frontage.
2A mainly herbaceous plant with jointed stems and spikes of small wind-pollinated flowers, predominant in grass.
Example sentences
  • The plants sprouting now include grasses, clovers, dandelions, several types of thistle, mustards, and small composites.
  • In the Midwest, that might mean planting prairie grasses and flowers along with - or even instead of - an English garden.
  • The extinct mammoths ate mainly grasses, sedges, and other riparian plants, salt bush, prickly pear, and even some needles of blue spruce.

Grasses belong to the large family Gramineae (or Poaceae; the grass family), and form the dominant vegetation of many areas of the world. The possession of a growing point that is mainly at ground level makes grasses suitable as the food of many grazing animals, and for use in lawns and playing fields.

3 [mass noun] informal Cannabis.
Example sentences
  • I would like to start with my personal experience with grass and Cannabis.
  • The shanty bands sing about cocaine, grass, booze, sex and football fandom.
  • When I go to Switzerland or Holland I can buy grass from coffee shops.
4British informal A police informer.
Perhaps related to the 19th-century rhyming slang grasshopper 'copper'
Example sentences
  • He then asked who the drug dealer was and when he found out he said, 'I wouldn't do it for him anyway because he's a grass and his supplier's a grass."
  • It's based on an old tramp, he is a total down and out drunk, he's a grass and soon finds out that his life is going to end in a fire.
informer, mole, stool pigeon
informal snitch, snout, stoolie, whistle-blower, snake in the grass, supergrass, rat, scab, nose
British informal nark
North American informal fink


[with object]
1Cover (an area of ground) with grass: the railway tracks were mostly grassed over
More example sentences
  • So most of the rubble was quickly shifted before the area was grassed over and turned into a small park near the water's edge.
  • She suggested that the Castle car park be grassed over and the foundations of the Victorian prison walls beneath exposed, as had been done with the remains of St Mary's Abbey.
  • It is set in pleasant parkland with good tree cover and grassed areas running along the riverbank.
cover with grass, grass over, turf, lay grass on
1.1US Feed (livestock) on grass.
Example sentences
  • Getting this animal out to grass reduces daily feed costs in half and should achieve over 1kg daily liveweight gain.
  • The treatments involved early turnout of cows to grass for 2 h per day at two residual sward heights and two silage allowances, plus a control treatment, in a randomized block design.
  • Given the high cost of concentrates this winter the early turnout of cows to grass this spring is likely to be an important aim on many farms.
2British informal Inform the police of someone’s criminal activities or plans: [no object]: someone had grassed on the thieves [with object]: she threatened to grass me up
More example sentences
  • To find out who grassed on him read the rest of the review.
  • It might sound harsh to some, but police say grassing on a drinker-driver could save lives.
  • Somebody must be proud of having grassed on her.
inform, tell;
give away, betray, denounce, sell out, be a Judas to
informal split, blow the whistle, rat, peach, squeal, squeak, do the dirty, grass up, tell tales about, spill the beans about, stitch up, sell down the river
British informal sneak, shop
North American informal drop a/the dime, finger, rat out, job
Australian/New Zealand informal dob, pimp, pool, shelf, put someone's pot on, point the bone at
Northern Irish & Scottish informal tout
archaic delate
3Catch and bring (a fish) to the riverbank: anglers grassed 294 trout
More example sentences
  • But home is where the heart is, and the season will not be complete until I have grassed a salmon by a field that I can view from my window.
4chiefly Rugby & Australian Rules Football Knock (someone) down.
Example sentences
  • The big man has been in the thick of the action during the ill-tempered series and his chief tormentor grassed him on two, the slip-up proving costly for the home side.



at grass

Grazing: the mare will be out at grass during the day
More example sentences
  • The early introduction of a balanced buffer feed will reduce liveweight loss at grass and optimise cow yield and fertility,’ says Brian.
  • On average suckler cows spent 228 days at grass, weanlings 239 days and yearling cattle 201 days.
  • ‘The idea is to use the pad as a winter lying area and the old cubicles to house any cows which calve before the herd is out at grass at night,’ Jack explained.

the grass is always greener on the other side (of the fence)

proverb Other people’s lives or situations always seem better than your own.
Example sentences
  • There is an old adage that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
  • I guess the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
  • The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Just do your best.

not let the grass grow under one's feet

Not delay in acting or taking an opportunity.
Example sentences
  • The Tidy Towns season is upon us, so don't let the grass grow under your feet.
  • The editor said: ‘Grans don't let the grass grow under their feet.
  • Catherine proved that she doesn't let the grass grow under her feet as she won the Northern Women's Championship.

put out to grass

Put (an animal) out to graze.
Example sentences
  • Highland cattle, rescued from the BSE cull and put out to grass, graze contentedly at the water's edge close to the croquet lawn.
  • So one by one, with much mooing, many holy cows were put out to grass.
  • Calves 3-10 months old were put out to grass in the daytime during the summer.
informal4.1 Force (someone) to retire.
Example sentences
  • Barely a decade ago the country seemed to be awash with 50-odd-year-olds who'd been put out to grass (on a golf course perhaps) with generous pension settlements.
  • The big Scot will be anxious to prove that, even after his infamous 84, he need not be put out to grass.
  • Neil, who has now joined us, smiles benevolently and explains he was put out to grass while Christine spent the next five years sowing her wild oats in Westminster.



Example sentences
  • I was ten when we moved to the new house, built from scratch and stark in a grassless yard.
  • At present it is just a grassless mound of earth that is no use to anybody.
  • Their tents, each holding around 20 men sleeping in cots, are pitched on a grassless field which has been turned to mud by rainstorms this week.


Example sentences
  • It has single blooms in shades like sparkling white, yellow or pink, rising over the shining grass-like leaves not more than 10 cm to 15 cm high.
  • Much to my surprise, I saw tufts of bright green grass-like plants here and there emerging from the cold soil.
  • It produces rich green leaves, arching and grass-like and very graceful in appearance.


Old English græs, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch gras, German Gras, also ultimately to green and grow.

  • The Old English word grass is descended from the same root word as both green and grow (Old English). According to the well-known saying, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, a sentiment echoed in the works of the Roman poet Ovid: ‘The harvest is always more fruitful in another man's fields.’ A woman whose husband is often away for long periods can be referred to as a grass widow. In the early 16th century, though, this was a term for an unmarried woman with a child, probably from the idea of the couple having lain on the grass together instead of in bed. People have been smoking grass, or cannabis, since the 1940s, originally in the USA. The word has meant ‘an informer’, or ‘to inform’ since the decade before that. In this sense it is probably short for grasshopper, rhyming slang for shopper, a person who ‘shops’ someone. Graze (Middle English) is from Old English grasian ‘eat grass’. See also nark

Words that rhyme with grass

brass, carse, class, coup de grâce, farce, glass, Grasse, impasse, Kars, kick-ass, kvass, Laplace, Maas, Madras, outclass, pass, sparse, stained glass, surpass, upper class, volte-face

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: grass

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