- the rent or income from leased property.
- the condition of being leased at a fixed rent; possession under lease; a lease.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- to assign (work, privileges, or the like) to another by financial agreement; subcontract; lease: The busy shipyard farmed out two construction jobs to a smaller yard.
- to assign the care of (a child or dependent person) to another: She farms her elderly aunt out to a retired nurse during the workweek.
- Chiefly Baseball.to assign (a player) to a farm.
- to exhaust (farmland) by overcropping.
- to drill (oil or gas wells), especially by subcontract on land owned or leased by another.
Origin of farm
verb (tr, adverb)
- a tract of land, usually with house and buildings, cultivated as a unit or used to rear livestock
- (as modifier)farm produce
- (in combination)farmland
- a fixed sum paid by an individual or group for the right of collecting and retaining taxes, rents, etc
- a fixed sum paid regularly by a town, county, etc, in lieu of taxes
- the leasing of a source of revenue to an individual or group
- a fixed tax, rent, etc, paid regularly
- to cultivate (land)
- to rear (stock, etc) on a farm
- to collect the moneys due and retain the profits from (a tax district, business, etc) for a specified period on payment of a sum or sums
- to operate (a franchise) under similar conditions
Word Origin for farm
c.1300, "fixed payment (usually in exchange for taxes collected, etc.), fixed rent," from Old French ferme "rent, lease," from Medieval Latin firma "fixed payment," from Latin firmare "to fix, settle, confirm, strengthen," from firmus "firm" (see firm (adj.)).
Sense of "tract of leased land" is first recorded early 14c.; that of "cultivated land" (leased or not) is 1520s. Phrase buy the farm "die in battle," is at least from World War II, perhaps a cynical reference to the draftee's dream of getting out of the war and going home, in many cases to a peaceful farmstead. But fetch the farm is prisoner slang from at least 1879 for "get sent to the infirmary," with reference to the better diet and lighter duties there.
mid-15c., "to rent (land)," from Anglo-French fermer, from ferme (see farm (n.)). The agricultural sense is from 1719. Original sense is retained in to farm out.
Assign something to an outsider; subcontract something. For example, The contractor was so busy he had to farm out two jobs to a colleague, or When their mother was hospitalized, the children had to be farmed out to the nearest relatives. This term originally referred to letting or leasing land. Today it usually refers to subcontracting work or the care of a dependent to another. In baseball it means “to assign a player to a lesser (farm) league,” as opposed to a big league. [Mid-1600s]
In addition to the idiom beginning with farm
- farm out
- buy it (the farm)