- (of land) plowed and left unseeded for a season or more; uncultivated.
- not in use; inactive: My creative energies have lain fallow this year.
- land that has undergone plowing and harrowing and has been left unseeded for one or more growing seasons.
- to make (land) fallow for agricultural purposes.
Origin of fallow1
- pale-yellow; light-brown; dun.
Origin of fallow2
Related Words for fallowvirgin, idle, slack, dormant, inert, neglected, quiescent, resting, uncultivated, undeveloped, unproductive, unused, vacant, unplowed, unseeded
Examples from the Web for fallow
Contemporary Examples of fallow
Historical Examples of fallow
Nicholas standing in a fallow field could see all his whips.War and Peace
A fallow field, "At quando messis" (When will be the harvest)?Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth
By the way, talking of Parliament, there's talk of a new election for Fallow field.
I cannot forget our old Fallow field school-life, you see, my dears.
But her mother had written to say she would wait for Evan in Fallow field!
- (of land) left unseeded after being ploughed and harrowed to regain fertility for a crop
- (of an idea, state of mind, etc) undeveloped or inactive, but potentially useful
- land treated in this way
- (tr) to leave (land) unseeded after ploughing and harrowing it
Word Origin for fallow
- of a light yellowish-brown colour
Word Origin for fallow
Word Origin and History for fallow
c.1300, from Old English fealh "fallow land," from Proto-Germanic *falgo (cf. Old High German felga "harrow," German Felge "plowed-up fallow land," East Frisian falge "fallow," falgen "to break up ground"), perhaps from a derivation of PIE root *pel- "to turn," assimilated in English to fallow (adj.) because of the color of plowed earth. Originally "plowed land," then "land plowed but not planted" (1520s). As an adjective, from late 14c.
"pale yellow, brownish yellow," Old English fealu "reddish yellow, yellowish-brown, tawny, dusk-colored," from Proto-Germanic *falwa- (cf. Old Saxon falu, Old Norse fölr, Middle Dutch valu, Dutch vaal, Old High German falo, German falb), from PIE *pal-wo- "dark-colored, gray" (cf. Old Church Slavonic plavu, Lithuanian palvas "sallow;" Greek polios, Sanskrit palitah, Welsh llwyd "gray;" Latin pallere "to be pale"), from root *pal- (see pallor). It also forms the root of words for "pigeon" in Greek (peleia), Latin (palumbes), and Old Prussian (poalis).