prairie

[ prair-ee ]
/ ˈprɛər i /

noun

an extensive, level or slightly undulating, mostly treeless tract of land in the Mississippi valley, characterized by a highly fertile soil and originally covered with coarse grasses, and merging into drier plateaus in the west.Compare pampas, savanna, steppe.
a tract of grassland; meadow.
(in Florida) a low, sandy tract of grassland often covered with water.
Southern U.S. wet grassland; marsh.
(initial capital letter) a steam locomotive having a two-wheeled front truck, six driving wheels, and a two-wheeled rear truck.

Origin of prairie

1675–85; < French: meadow < Vulgar Latin *prātāria, equivalent to Latin prāt(um) meadow + -āria, feminine of -ārius -ary

Related forms

prai·rie·like, adjective

Definition for prairie (2 of 2)

Prairie, The


noun

a historical novel (1827) by James Fenimore Cooper.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prairie

British Dictionary definitions for prairie

prairie

/ (ˈprɛərɪ) /

noun

(often plural) a treeless grassy plain of the central US and S CanadaCompare pampas, steppe, savanna

Word Origin for prairie

C18: from French, from Old French praierie, from Latin prātum meadow
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

Science definitions for prairie

prairie

[ prârē ]

An extensive area of flat or rolling grassland, especially the large plain of central North America.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.