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[hey] /heɪ/
John Milton, 1838–1905, U.S. statesman and author.
a river in NW Canada, flowing NE to the Great Slave Lake. 530 miles (853 km) long. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for john hay
Historical Examples
  • The first step led to London where john hay was to be established.

  • john hay, full of cheer and wit, was abroad as a secretary of legation.

    Tom Strong, Lincoln's Scout Alfred Bishop Mason
  • By this time Mr. john hay came up and told the line was joined.

  • john hay tried in vain to persuade her to wait a few minutes.

    The Southerner Thomas Dixon
  • She was the chosen woman, chosen by him out of all Europe—and lost by john hay!

    Clementina A.E.W. Mason
  • john hay, whom it also reached in due time, pronounce it a classic—a "most exquisite bit of old English morality."

  • Colonel john hay, of Washington, was one of the spectators of this curious scene.

  • The following correspondence reveals the fine diplomacy which made the name of john hay known throughout the world.

    1601 Mark Twain
  • For that reason, one's own passive obscurity seemed sometimes nearer nature than john hay's exposure.

  • He would have been years in advance of the announcement finally made that john hay wrote the novel.

British Dictionary definitions for john hay


  1. grass, clover, etc, cut and dried as fodder
  2. (in combination): a hayfield, a hayloft
(slang) hit the hay, to go to bed
make hay of, to throw into confusion
make hay while the sun shines, to take full advantage of an opportunity
(informal) roll in the hay, sexual intercourse or heavy petting
to cut, dry, and store (grass, clover, etc) as fodder
(transitive) to feed with hay
Word Origin
Old English hieg; related to Old Norse hey, Gothic hawi, Old Frisian hē, Old High German houwi; see hew


a circular figure in country dancing
a former country dance in which the dancers wove in and out of a circle
Word Origin
C16: of uncertain origin


Will. 1888–1949, British music-hall comedian, who later starred in films, such as Oh, Mr Porter! (1937)
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 john hay



"grass mown," Old English heg (Anglian), hieg, hig (West Saxon) "grass cut or mown for fodder," from Proto-Germanic *haujam (cf. Old Norse hey, Old Frisian ha, Middle Dutch hoy, German Heu, Gothic hawi "hay"), literally "that which is cut," or "that which can be mowed," from PIE *kau- "to hew, strike" (cf. Old English heawan "to cut;" see hew). Slang phrase hit the hay (pre-1880) was originally "to sleep in a barn;" hay in the general figurative sense of "bedding" (e.g. roll in the hay) is from 1903.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for john hay



Marijuana; herb

Related Terms

hit the hay, indian hay, that ain't hay

[Narcotics; 1940s+]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with john hay
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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