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  1. John Milton,1838–1905, U.S. statesman and author.
  2. a river in NW Canada, flowing NE to the Great Slave Lake. 530 miles (853 km) long.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for john hay


    1. grass, clover, etc, cut and dried as fodder
    2. (in combination)a hayfield; a hayloft
  1. hit the hay slang to go to bed
  2. make hay of to throw into confusion
  3. make hay while the sun shines to take full advantage of an opportunity
  4. roll in the hay informal sexual intercourse or heavy petting
  1. to cut, dry, and store (grass, clover, etc) as fodder
  2. (tr) 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



  1. a circular figure in country dancing
  2. a former country dance in which the dancers wove in and out of a circle

Word Origin

C16: of uncertain origin


  1. 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

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

Idioms and Phrases with john hay

john hay

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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