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[dair-ee] /ˈdɛər i/
noun, plural dairies for 1–4.
an establishment, as a room, building, or buildings, where milk and cream are kept and butter and cheese are made.
a shop or company that sells milk, butter, etc.
the business of a dairy farm, concerned with the production and treatment of milk and cream and the manufacture of butter and cheese.
milk, or products made from or containing milk; dairy products, as butter and cheese:
He avoids red meat, processed foods, and dairy in his diet.
(in Jewish dietary law) foods, including all milk products, eggs, fish, vegetables, etc., that may be eaten at a meal in which milk is served, in contrast to meat and meat products, which may not.
of or relating to a dairy or a dairy farm.
relating to or for milk, cream, butter, cheese, etc.:
dairy products; the dairy case at a supermarket.
(in Jewish dietary law) of or relating to dairy, in contrast to meat and meat products.
Origin of dairy
1250-1300; Middle English daierie, equivalent to daie, deie dairymaid (Old English dǣge bread maker; cognate with Old Norse deigja; see lady) + -erie -ery
Can be confused
dairy, diary. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for dairies
Historical Examples
  • Farmers are invited to bring to the Fair gifts from their barns, stalls, dairies, and poultry yards.

  • I superintend the dairies; the butter and the cheese are the produce of my industry.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • Flo Yes, by the way, do you understand anything about dairies in America?

    Our American Cousin Tom Taylor
  • Then there are the dairies, with coffee, a unique institution.

    All About Coffee William H. Ukers
  • He entered the wash-house, the bake-house, and the dairies where the butter was being churned.

  • The Bretons also say that there are spirits who silently skim the milk-pans in the dairies.

    The Fairy Mythology Thomas Keightley
  • Down in the marsh they were cutting ice for the dairies—it was high time too!

    Ditte: Girl Alive! Martin Andersen Nexo
  • There must be hundreds of canneries and dairies and packing plants over the country.

    The Plague Teddy Keller
  • Lady Berkeley went on similar rounds from manor to manor in order to inspect the dairies.

    Chaucer and His England G. G. Coulton
  • You know you need not work in the fields or the dairies again.

British Dictionary definitions for dairies


noun (pl) dairies
a company that supplies milk and milk products
  1. a shop that sells provisions, esp milk and milk products
  2. (NZ) a shop that remains open outside normal trading hours
a room or building where milk and cream are stored or made into butter and cheese
  1. (modifier) of or relating to the production of milk and milk products: dairy cattle
  2. (in combination): a dairymaid, a dairyman
  1. food containing milk or milk products: she can't eat dairy
  2. (as modifier): dairy produce
Word Origin
C13 daierie, from Old English dǣge servant girl, one who kneads bread; see dough, lady
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dairies



late 13c., "building for making butter and cheese; dairy farm," formed with Anglo-French -erie affixed to Middle English daie (in daie maid "dairymaid"), from Old English dæge "kneader of bread, housekeeper, female servant" (see dey (n.1)). The purely native word was dey-house.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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