There are 2 main definitions of hay in English:

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hay 1

Line breaks: hay

noun

[mass noun]
Grass that has been mown and dried for use as fodder.
Example sentences
  • Here we plant a mixture of alfalfa and timothy, or alfalfa and orchard grass, as hay for horses or dairy cows.
  • By the time we headed back to the palace, we smelled of horse manure and hay, with hay and grass sticking out from our hair and clothes.
  • When a field gets too weedy, Fred will seed it in grasses and turn it into pasture or hay.
Synonyms
forage, dried grass, pasturage, herbage, silage, fodder, straw

verb

[no object] (hay off) Back to top  
chiefly Australian (Of grass, etc.) dry while standing: the grass had all hayed off and gone to seed (as adjective hayed off) the hayed off growth is eaten through the winter
More example sentences
  • The pasture has hayed off due to seasonal weather patterns.
  • His cattle won't get fat until the grass has hayed off in late summer.
  • The grass had hayed off on the top, but underneath it was still green, providing the best cattle-fattening feed imaginable.

Phrases

hit the hay

1
informal Go to bed.
Example sentences
  • The weekend was finished off in the best way possible, with Amelia sleeping soundly from 8pm until 1am and me hitting the hay at 9.
  • Our houseguest hit the hay at one and I went up to sleep.
  • I plan to go for a few beers down the local pub before hitting the hay.

make hay (while the sun shines)

2
proverb Make good use of an opportunity while it lasts: they made political hay out of the issue
More example sentences
  • This is one of a few occasions that provide a good opportunity for both private and governmental textile houses to make hay.
  • If our soccer players do not appreciate the privilege of having direct access to Africa's richest soccer league, then they must blame themselves for not making hay while the sun shines.
  • Talk about making hay while the sun shines: this is a place that knows how to make the most of an unusually short summer season.
Synonyms
make the most of an opportunity, exploit an opportunity, take advantage of an opportunity, capitalize on an advantage, strike while the iron is hot, seize the day;

Origin

Old English hēg, hīeg, hīg, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hooi and German Heu, also to hew.

More
  • An ancient word that goes back to around ad 800 in Old English. The phrase to make hay, ‘to make good use of an opportunity while it lasts’, is a shortening of the proverbial recommendation make hay while the sun shines, which has been in use since the 16th century. Since the late 19th century North American farmers have employed haywire to bind bales of hay and corn. Others found other uses for it, so that haywire came to describe anything patched together or poorly equipped. By the 1920s to go haywire meant ‘to go wrong’, and in the 1930s it was extended to cover people who were mentally disturbed or out of control.

Words that rhyme with hay

affray, agley, aka, allay, Angers, A-OK, appellation contrôlée, array, assay, astray, au fait, auto-da-fé, away, aweigh, aye, bay, belay, betray, bey, Bombay, Bordet, boulevardier, bouquet, brae, bray, café au lait, Carné, cassoulet, Cathay, chassé, chevet, chez, chiné, clay, convey, Cray, crème brûlée, crudités, cuvée, cy-pres, day, decay, deejay, dégagé, distinguée, downplay, dray, Dufay, Dushanbe, eh, embay, engagé, essay, everyday, faraway, fay, fey, flay, fray, Frey, fromage frais, gainsay, Gaye, Genet, giclee, gilet, glissé, gray, grey, halfway, heigh, hey, hooray, Hubei, Hué, hurray, inveigh, jay, jeunesse dorée, José, Kay, Kaye, Klee, Kray, Lae, lay, lei, Littré, Lough Neagh, lwei, Mae, maguey, Malay, Mallarmé, Mandalay, Marseilles, may, midday, midway, mislay, misplay, Monterrey, Na-Dene, nay, né, née, neigh, Ney, noway, obey, O'Dea, okay, olé, outlay, outplay, outstay, outweigh, oyez, part-way, pay, Pei, per se, pince-nez, play, portray, pray, prey, purvey, qua, Quai d'Orsay, Rae, rangé, ray, re, reflet, relevé, roman-à-clef, Santa Fé, say, sei, Shar Pei, shay, slay, sleigh, sley, spae, spay, Spey, splay, spray, stay, straightaway, straightway, strathspey, stray, Sui, survey, sway, Taipei, Tay, they, today, tokay, Torbay, Tournai, trait, tray, trey, two-way, ukiyo-e, underlay, way, waylay, Wei, weigh, wey, Whangarei, whey, yea

Definition of hay in:

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There are 2 main definitions of hay in English:

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hay 2 Line breaks: hay

noun

1A country dance with interweaving steps similar to a reel.
Example sentences
  • He danced the Hays round two elbow chairs.
1.1A winding figure in a hay country dance.
Example sentences
  • One of the most pleasing movements in country-dancing is what they call ‘the hay’.

Origin

Early 16th century: from an obsolete sense 'a kind of dance' of French haie 'hedge', figuratively 'row of people lining the route of a procession'.

More
  • An ancient word that goes back to around ad 800 in Old English. The phrase to make hay, ‘to make good use of an opportunity while it lasts’, is a shortening of the proverbial recommendation make hay while the sun shines, which has been in use since the 16th century. Since the late 19th century North American farmers have employed haywire to bind bales of hay and corn. Others found other uses for it, so that haywire came to describe anything patched together or poorly equipped. By the 1920s to go haywire meant ‘to go wrong’, and in the 1930s it was extended to cover people who were mentally disturbed or out of control.

Definition of hay in:

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