- The definition of fallow is inactive.
A piece of land that is normally used for farming but that is left with no crops on it for a season in order to let it recover its fertility is an example of land that would be described as fallow.
A field lies fallow.
- land plowed but not seeded for one or more growing seasons, to kill weeds, make the soil richer, etc.
- the plowing of land to be left idle in this way
Origin of fallowMiddle English falow ; from Old English fealh, akin to fealh, harrow, felly (of wheel) ; from Indo-European base an unverified form pelk-, to turn from source Gaelic olca, fallow land
- left uncultivated or unplanted
- untrained; inactive: said esp. of the mind
Origin of fallowME falwen < OE fealgian < fealh, fallow land; infl. by fealwian, to fade < fealo: see fallow
Origin of fallowMiddle English falwe ; from Old English fealo, akin to German fahl, fallow ; from Germanic an unverified form falwa ; from Indo-European base an unverified form pel-, gray, pale from source Classical Latin pallidus
- Plowed but left unseeded during a growing season: fallow farmland.
- Characterized by inactivity: a fallow gold market.
- Land left unseeded during a growing season.
- The act of plowing land and leaving it unseeded.
- The condition or period of being unseeded.
transitive verbfal·lowed, fal·low·ing, fal·lows
- To plow (land) without seeding it afterward.
- To plow and till (land), especially to eradicate or reduce weeds.
Origin of fallowMiddle English falow, from Old English fealh, fallow land.
(countable and uncountable, plural fallows)
(third-person singular simple present fallows, present participle fallowing, simple past and past participle fallowed)
- To make land fallow for agricultural purposes.
From Middle English falow, from Old English fealh (“fallow land”), from Proto-Germanic *falhaz (compare East Frisian falge, Dutch valg, German Felge), from Proto-Indo-European *polḱéh₂ (“arable land”) (compare Gaulish olca, Russian полоса́ (polosá)).
(comparative more fallow, superlative most fallow)
From Middle English falwe, from Old English fealu, from Proto-Germanic *falwaz (compare West Frisian feal, Dutch vaal, German falb, fahl), from Proto-Indo-European *polʷos (compare Lithuanian pal̃vas 'sallow, wan', Serbo-Croatian plâv 'blond, blue', Ancient Greek πολιός (poliós) 'grey'), from Proto-Indo-European *pel- 'pale'.