Definition of pasture in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpɑːstʃə/


1 [mass noun] Land covered with grass and other low plants suitable for grazing animals, especially cattle or sheep: areas of rich meadow pasture many a horse was put out to pasture there [count noun]: grassy pastures [as modifier]: a range of pasture grasses
More example sentences
  • Three quarters of grassland seed mixtures sown in Britain include white clover, yet studies have shown that it only thrives in 20 per cent of fields used as pasture for cattle and sheep.
  • The woodland and waste that lay beyond the cultivated land was common land, which provided timber for fuel and building, and rough pasture for cattle, sheep, and goats.
  • The Niger here has an inland delta which permits the seasonal growing of rice, while other areas contain sufficient pasture for cattle, sheep, and goats.
grazing land, grazing, grassland, grass, pastureland, pasturage, range, ley, paddock, croft;
meadow, field, water meadow, sheep walk;
Scottish & Northern English  shieling, bent
literary lea, mead, greensward, sward
Irish & Canadian  bawn;
Australian/New Zealand  run;
South African  veld;
in Switzerland alp;
in France bocage;
in South America potrero
2 (pastures) Used to refer to a person’s situation in life: she left the office for pastures new
Suggested by ‘Tomorrow to fresh woods and pastures new’ (Milton's Lycidas)
More example sentences
  • But research shows that there were plenty of people who were persuaded to leave Hull for pastures new for entirely different reasons.
  • Once again he will be faced with the task of halting Celtic's trophy ambitions, and again he will do so fully aware that the opposition's star striker is set for pastures new and looking to write his name into the history books before he goes.
  • In no respect is his decision to seek pastures new a matter of months before his 33rd birthday a consequence of fearing that his remarkable levels of excellence might be about to slip.


[with object]
1Put (animals) to graze in a pasture: they pastured their cows in the water meadow
More example sentences
  • In the past, he pastured his cattle all winter, but he has recently built a new addition on his barn.
  • Even though the pastured yearlings gained less weight, they also deposited less fat than pastured horses receiving grain that provided 50% of the NRC energy requirement.
  • Despite visible warning signs, cattle are still pastured on these hills once targeted by NATO planes, and this farmer says he is little concerned about any possible danger.
1.1 [no object] (Of animals) graze: the livestock pastured and the crops grew
More example sentences
  • Dairy animals pasture on hillsides where machines dare not go.
  • The prince often let his palace horses out to pasture in the fields, to wander and graze, and whenever the peasant's horse saw his brother, he trotted over to visit.


put someone out to pasture

Force someone to retire: over time the more colourful among us have been put out to pasture
More example sentences
  • But only time can tell if the Sacred Cow will be put out to pasture.
  • When it's ready, the old Screen Machine will be put out to pasture in Ayrshire, or Stornoway, or Campbeltown.
  • Right now, it's commonplace to hear many people in their fifties saying they've had enough of working life and their employers are offering generous packages to put them out to pasture.


Middle English: from Old French, from late Latin pastura 'grazing', from past- 'grazed', from the verb pascere.

  • The word pasture comes via Old French from late Latin pastura ‘grazing’, from the verb pascere ‘to graze’. A clergyman is seen as the shepherd of his flock, and pastor (Late Middle English) is the Latin for ‘shepherd, feeder’. Late Middle English pastoral is from Latin pastoralis ‘relating to a shepherd’. Its use in literary, art, and musical contexts dates from the late 16th century.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pas|ture

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