Definition of farm in English:



  • 1An area of land and its buildings, used for growing crops and rearing animals.

    ‘a farm of 100 acres’
    as modifier ‘farm workers’
    • ‘But the ultimate cost will be the tragic demise of small family farms around the world.’
    • ‘Only 20 percent of the small family farms in the area are left.’
    • ‘In 2002 he bought neighbouring farms and his estate is now 2500 acres.’
    • ‘Items sold were mostly local and seasonal, farm produce or locally made artefacts.’
    • ‘Total land in farms, at 46,400 acres, is unchanged from last year.’
    • ‘Every evening the animals will be taken to a farm on the outskirts of Dublin where they can rest overnight.’
    • ‘My uncles' farm was one of three farms on a private road.’
    • ‘The 37-year-old farm labourer has one week left to find a home.’
    • ‘He put my grandfather's farm up for sale and had an offer on it.’
    • ‘The students of the school were told about the need for preserving farm animals.’
    • ‘Joseph began work as a farm labourer and the family settled into Canterbury life.’
    • ‘The City of Hamburg owns two large organic farms.’
    • ‘Your neighbour brings you back a sack of potatoes from his uncle's farm.’
    • ‘I have certainly come across studies and examples where badly managed larger scale farms have damaged the environment.’
    • ‘She is one of four children who grew up on their father's farm in the south.’
    • ‘Private cars and visitors, too, must comply if they visit farms in the area.’
    • ‘Some species of waterfowl adapted to feeding on rice, barley, lettuce, and other crops grown on farms in California.’
    • ‘Long active in the community, he has operated a family farm for 30 years.’
    • ‘He says that 200,000-acre factory farms fit his vision of what agriculture should be.’
    • ‘The highlight of my summers was going out to my uncle's farm about three miles outside the town.’
    smallholding, holding, farmstead, steading, grange, plantation, estate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A farmhouse.
      ‘a half-timbered farm’
      • ‘Threshfield, it was said, consisted of 17 houses, four farms, a shop, a pub and a chapel.’
      • ‘Key documents have been hidden in farms, homes and mosques.’
      • ‘He called at several big houses as well as farms and cottages, usually selling out before arriving ‘home’.’
      • ‘We have jobs, shops, houses, farms, a church, schools.’
      • ‘Of course it's not easy to read a fast-moving plane's registration number as it roars and dives low over houses, farms and factories.’
      • ‘There has been a flurry of school trips, including London Zoo, farms, museums and galleries and lots of visiting theatre groups.’
      • ‘It ranges across the industrial and domestic spectrum from factories and offices to the the farm or the home.’
      • ‘In all, the trust has some 300 private houses and cottages plus 90 farms in the Lake District, all of which are likely to need distinctive local stone for maintenance in the future.’
      • ‘It has established numerous farms, stores, and restaurants.’
      • ‘He added that this goes for houses, flats, farms, factories and offices.’
      • ‘They also have a residential farm which houses up to 15 young people, and have various other services to help homeless people get into good accommodation.’
      • ‘More than 40 of these cottages were built by the end of the 19th century together with a church, school, stores, workshops, a farm and even a fire station.’
      • ‘Village life revolved round the church, two farms and the local pub, the Old Bell Inn.’
      • ‘You could build schools, farms, or factories that will provide for these people far into the future.’
      • ‘Like Winnie, the residents of the 16 houses and three farms on Castley Lane, Pool-in-Wharfedale, near Otley, would not choose to live anywhere else.’
      • ‘But these programmes were to be paid for by local taxpayers, taxed through the rates due on houses, farms, factories, and offices.’
      • ‘They visited farms, museums and castle sites and had a very enjoyable time accompanied by their teachers.’
      • ‘She and her husband then joined their daughter and son-in-law in transforming Blunsdon House Hotel from a farm into a guesthouse and then into the large establishment it is today.’
      • ‘Since they have to be read regularly, they are placed in post offices, farms, radio stations, lighthouses, airports, etc and mostly in towns and cities.’
      • ‘Each age built something they thought lasting - fortress, farms, railway, church or quarry - but all have given way.’
    2. 1.2with modifier A place for breeding a particular type of animal or producing a specified crop.
      ‘a fish farm’
      • ‘You could say that the farmers who run intensive poultry farms deserve criticism for not looking after animals properly.’
      • ‘The decision to turn the site into a lavender farm and distillery is likely to be welcomed by locals who have long fought to ensure the land is put to good use.’
      • ‘The owners of a new stud farm on green belt land are being allowed to extend the buildings.’
      • ‘It is the foremost fish breeding farm in Europe and they take so much care over the fish and the area.’
      • ‘I am sure there must be a few good/healthy salmon fish farms.’
      • ‘The country's 300 salmon farms produce 160,000 tonnes of fish a year.’
      • ‘So, she is just trying to build a better poultry farm with the help of the whole village.’
      • ‘Dubbed the queen of science fiction, she lives next door in Dragonhold Underhill, her rolling stud farm.’
      • ‘At 1,500 acres, Hollesley Bay is the largest jail in the prison estate and has its own dairy herd, stud farm and arable crops.’
      • ‘They said I broke into a nearby rabbit farm and slew about two dozen.’
      • ‘There's an ice rink, cinema, theatre, even a deer farm and a whisky museum.’
      • ‘Since that business where a woman's remains were dug up because her grandchildren ran a guinea pig farm, the Animal Rights mob have been persona non grata in our neck of the woods.’
      • ‘My grandfather's horse farm contained all sorts of breeds.’
      • ‘He grew up on a grape and citrus farm at Robinvale, on the Murray River in north-west Victoria.’
      • ‘Visiting the pig farm will bring grief and loss into sharp focus once again.’
      • ‘The group has an option to buy a chicken farm where it wants to build a sophisticated textile factory.’
      • ‘He owns the well-known breeding and stallion farm, Ballylinch Stud home of the legendary Tetrarch and part of the Mount Juliet Estate.’
      • ‘But these people aren't, after all, poultry farm workers.’
      • ‘He owns the largest Tilapia fish farm in the Philippines with 10 million fishes.’
      • ‘She coordinates preventative medicine programs and pathology at Hagen's parrot breeding farm and research institute.’
      ranch, range
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3with modifier A place devoted to producing or promoting something.
      ‘an energy farm’
      • ‘We get our milk from 33 small dairy farms located in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.’
      • ‘The 100-acre wind farm near Strabane is currently capable of producing 6.6 kilo watts of power per hour.’
      • ‘Hundreds of objections to plans to build the wind farm have been made.’
      • ‘Previous attempts by local entrepreneurs to establish broiler farms were foiled by dumping below cost from the large producers in South Africa.’
      • ‘And he bought an organic dairy farm in Wales.’
      • ‘At a Kurow dairy farm owned by Meridian Energy, this stray voltage was found to be around 1.5 volts.’
      • ‘But those benefits disappear if the wind farms are owned by a utility.’
      • ‘The welcoming committee is pure science fiction, a towering wind energy farm of sleek white windmills, five storeys high and filling the valley's entire widescreen width.’
      • ‘I asked the people there about the large windmill farm east of the Crowsnest Pass in Southern Alberta.’
      • ‘Ever anxious to learn more, the members changed tack and headed for Carne to visit the Wind Mill farm which was in total contrast to the experience in the Heritage Park.’
      • ‘At Suzhou City in the Jiangsu province, he visited a fresh water pearl farm and factor and said he was impressed with the techniques used by the Chinese farmers.’
      • ‘Any company of their capitalization that can't manage to run a server farm successfully has serious internal management problems.’
      • ‘On one hand the government takes on money from JBIC and on the other it is promoting the destructive prawn farm cultivation.’
      • ‘Besides the skydiving side of the business, the owner, 36, also runs an organic dairy farm.’
      • ‘Six years ago this hillside and the lowland beneath it was farmland grazed by the dairy herd that was part of Kilmeaden Cheese Factory's model farm.’


  • 1no object Make one's living by growing crops or keeping livestock.

    ‘he has farmed organically for years’
    • ‘We thought anyone who was making a living from farming was farming conventionally.’
    • ‘A small coffee industry and subsistence farming counterbalance the poverty of the land reserves.’
    • ‘All that is consistent with the government's commitment to environmentally-friendly farming.’
    • ‘For example, a century ago about 80 percent of the population worked the fields while today only a few percent pursue farming for a living.’
    • ‘He's farmed organically since 1983 and has been a certified organic grower since 1995.’
    • ‘He is one of a dwindling number of farmers who depend sorely on farming for a living.’
    • ‘He said he didn't go into art expecting a career and figured he would be earning a living from farming, gardening, or labouring.’
    • ‘Most Quechua rely on subsistence farming for their livelihood.’
    • ‘Under the new scheme individuals will be allowed to farm in partnership with their parents under a formal partnership arrangement.’
    • ‘Wayne and Ruth are looking creatively for new ways to make farming viable in western North Carolina.’
    • ‘In Belize, they are the poorest of the poor, most living by subsistence farming.’
    • ‘But then he farmed for a living as had his father and grandfather before him.’
    • ‘There are still a lot of hungry farmers out there who want to make their living from farming.’
    • ‘Zambian vernacular architecture is integrated with nature in an agricultural society of subsistence farming.’
    • ‘In fifty years time it appears there will be very few people in this county earning their living from farming on a full time basis.’
    • ‘He farmed in partnership with his father, and for a few years also with his older brother Eric.’
    • ‘I am also aware that New Zealand has made its living by doing farming in a very functional and technologically targeted way.’
    • ‘Most people farmed for a living, and others took care of all necessary needs in the community.’
    • ‘In the last year Jay has decided he might want to farm full-time.’
    • ‘State-owned railways and state-funded irrigation schemes helped make farming viable on this far-flung frontier.’
    be a farmer, practise farming, cultivate the land, till the land, work the land, till the soil, rear livestock, do agricultural work
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Use (land) for growing crops and rearing animals.
      ‘marshes are being drained in order to farm the land’
      • ‘He farmed some land, growing much of what my mother served our family at dinner time.’
      • ‘It is really a culture of farming where food and farming the land are the center of the celebration of human culture.’
      • ‘To do this, you need to have been actively farming the land for a minimum of two years and to produce accounts to back this up.’
      • ‘The land was farmed for years, then was changed for residential development.’
      • ‘He resided just across the road from Burke's Shop where he farmed his land.’
      • ‘Campaigners are also lobbying the government to increase the percentage of organically farmed land.’
      • ‘The latest statistics showed that around one in six farmhouses in the region have been sold to people who had no intention of farming the land themselves.’
      • ‘In 1903, one hundred years ago, most people in Ireland lived in the countryside, farmed the land, cultivated the food they ate and had very little extra money.’
      • ‘Male workers all had to spend a certain number of days a year working on government projects, such as farming state-owned land.’
      • ‘Indians grew the sugar in the west and farmed their land with great quantities of artificial fertilizers.’
      • ‘They continued to farm the land but eventually that all stopped.’
      • ‘People had been forced out of farming their land and got the ‘cheque in the post.’’
      • ‘Many conventionally farmed soils around here barely have 1 to 2 percent organic matter.’
      • ‘Together she and her husband farmed the ranch land, and she bore seven children.’
      • ‘He also farmed the land and was well versed in many aspects of the farming scene.’
      • ‘Joyance missed the days when she and her husband and young son had farmed the land her house sat upon.’
      • ‘Bob farmed the land where the couple's home now stands.’
      • ‘But although peasants farmed all the land in 1800, they often owned less than half of it.’
      • ‘You can structure your conservation easement so that you may still build one or more houses, farm the land and hunt wild animals.’
      • ‘This was discussed at length and it was strongly felt that the person who rented or actively farmed the land should be the benefactor in future.’
      cultivate, bring under cultivation, till, work, plough, dig, plant
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2with object Breed or grow (a type of livestock or crop) commercially.
      ‘ostriches are farmed in South Africa and Australia’
      ‘farmed salmon’
      • ‘I rejoice in the sustainable food source that is farmed livestock.’
      • ‘Farmers began to use a new system, the three-field system, to farm their crops.’
      • ‘The grim reality is that the only way to save them is to farm them commercially.’
      • ‘Biodiverse farming involves simultaneously farming several crops.’
      • ‘These movement restrictions apply to all farmed livestock within that area.’
      • ‘The fish-farming industry was brought to its knees by some report saying that eating farmed salmon can kill you.’
      • ‘As someone who farms arable crops near Swindon, I am only too aware that farmers are struggling.’
      • ‘Instead, family farming has remained prevalent because people have adjusted by farming different crops and combining agriculture with other ways of making a living.’
      • ‘Two of them were game farms and the rest were used to farm crops and livestock.’
      • ‘We deserve the grid we have - after all we value commercially farmed oysters over human life and comforts.’
      • ‘Most salmon sold at supermarkets in the United States are farmed salmon, grown with feed derived from soybeans.’
      • ‘In many cases households switch to farming crops that are less labour intensive, but these crops, the FAO notes, are often also less nutritious.’
      • ‘They have farmed their dairy herd at Gorsehill Abbey Farm for many years.’
      • ‘Drawing on his experience raising tilapia on fish farms in South America years ago, Warner embarked on an effort to farm the breed in big indoor tanks.’
      • ‘The scientists tracked the source of the pollutants to the fish meal fed to intensively farmed salmon.’
      • ‘Castor plants that are free of ricin and allergens could renew interest in farming this crop.’
      • ‘I can't be reassured that the liver in this isn't from intensively farmed animals.’
      • ‘Like all farmed livestock, salmon are regularly checked by veterinarians and occasionally require the use of licensed medicines.’
      • ‘Not only is the farmed salmon crop nutritionally inferior to its wild counterpart; it is also known to be a dangerous source of contamination of the marine environment.’
      grow, cultivate, raise, plant, tend, bring on, harvest
      View synonyms
  • 2farm someone/something outwith object Send out or subcontract work to others.

    ‘it saves time and money to farm out some writing work to specialized companies’
    • ‘All too frequently major issues that need decisions are farmed out to outsiders to make reports.’
    • ‘If every year a handful of issues were farmed out to assemblies like this one, one issue per assembly, it would be a job that could be done at a few hours a week.’
    • ‘There is no technical reason why farming it out to private providers or mutuals cannot work.’
    • ‘Rather, they are automatically farmed out to subcontractors, who ship finished products directly to customers.’
    • ‘The lesser pieces are farmed out to their student accommodation.’
    • ‘All the component projects are farmed out across the country.’
    • ‘In big companies, work is off-loaded to customers, or their problems are farmed out to call centers with productivity incentives designed to limit each call.’
    • ‘But if a company farms its work out to independent contractors, it can rid itself of costly expenses such as disability and social security taxes.’
    • ‘A lot of government services are farmed out to the private sector.’
    • ‘So he should immediately farm this whole record out to all kinds of good producers who could remix it entirely and try to make it better.’
    • ‘Booking arrangements will be farmed out to private retail outlets, or passengers will be forced to use the Internet to make reservations.’
    • ‘Protection products and pensions feature strongly, while tax advice on more complex transactions tends to be farmed out to tax specialists.’
    • ‘Many tasks have been farmed out to private, unaccountable contractors.’
    • ‘Trained inmates can be farmed out to local businesses, providing a good service in return for on-the-job training.’
    • ‘Full-time positions are being farmed out as contract work.’
    • ‘Spare ones will be farmed out to other universities which have expressed an interest in getting involved.’
    • ‘Once operations are farmed out to a private investor, soon only the tracks and railbed will be publicly-owned, he said.’
    • ‘Issues that threaten to create permanent obstacles are farmed out to commissions so they can be dealt with down the line.’
    • ‘The deputy prime minister warned it was a mistake to think entire departments would be farmed out to the regions.’
    • ‘Professional crossword makers farm their puzzles out to experts for a test drive before they are published.’
    contract out, outsource, assign to others, subcontract, delegate
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    1. 2.1 Arrange for a child to be looked after by someone, usually for payment.
      ‘the babies are farmed out for five years’
      • ‘Whoever farmed me out for adoption put a lot of work into covering up everything about where - or who - I came from.’
      • ‘Her father's alcoholism plunged the family into poverty so humiliating that Dolly was farmed out to various generous strangers for upbringing.’
      • ‘Who, after all, would choose to work and farm their kids out in the morning if they could be in the same financial position while staying at home?’
      have fostered, have cared for, send to a childminder, put in care
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    2. 2.2dated Send a sports player temporarily to another team in return for a fee.
      ‘he was farmed out in 1938 and '39 and came back for two games in 1940’
      • ‘It looked even bleaker when Steve bought in six summer signings and he was farmed out to Sunderland on loan.’
      • ‘He first played for York in the 1998 season when he was farmed out to Huntington Stadium on loan from Castleford.’
      • ‘So he was farmed out for a month with instructions to delay his swing a bit, go to right field more often, improve his bunting and reduce strikeouts.’
      • ‘The RFU, not the clubs, would employ players and farm them out to the clubs.’
  • 3historical with object Allow someone to collect and keep the revenues from (a tax) on payment of a fee.

    ‘the customs had been farmed to the collector for a fixed sum’
    • ‘The sum offered by Andocides and his associates was thirty-six talents, which (he claims) still allowed them a small profit in farming the tax.’
    • ‘The market was supervised by a warden and by the fifteenth century that officer was farming revenues due the city from the market.’


  • bet the farm

    • informal Risk everything that one owns on a bet, investment, or enterprise.

      ‘this isn't a great time to bet the farm on the Internet’
  • buy back the farm

    • informal Retrieve the capital assets of a country from foreign ownership.

      ‘a government guarantee that in some areas we will buy back the farm’
  • buy the farm

    • informal Die.

      pass away, pass on, lose one's life, depart this life, expire, breathe one's last, draw one's last breath, meet one's end, meet one's death, lay down one's life, be no more, perish, be lost, go the way of the flesh, go the way of all flesh, go to glory, go to one's last resting place, go to meet one's maker, cross the great divide, cross the styx
      View synonyms
  • from farm to fork (or table)

    • Used to refer to the various processes in the food chain from agricultural production to consumption.

      ‘a catering industry initiative that allows certified traceability of fresh meat and eggs from farm to fork’
      as modifier ‘each of these countries has farm-to-fork legislation’
      • ‘According to the company, it controls the temperature of food products "from farm to fork".’
      • ‘It helps to ensure that food is safe, from farm to fork.’
      • ‘To meet these requirements companies need to be able to trace their products through every stage from farm to fork.’
      • ‘Miss Mills said she was glad the report had brought to the public's attention 'the systematic failures from farm to fork'.’
      • ‘But from farm to table, the industry could well lose a quarter of a billion dollars.’
      • ‘The North Central Initiative for Small Farm Profitability, a regional project based at NU's Center for Applied Rural Innovation, is a four-state, multi-institutional, farm-to-fork initiative.’
      • ‘Everyone in the farm-to-fork food safety system has a responsibility to reduce risk.’
      • ‘Commissioner Byrne refers to the feed hygiene package as "the missing link" in the farm-to-fork approach to food safety.’
      • ‘Unless far-reaching measures are taken to address consumer concerns 'from farm to fork', the crisis will only deepen.’
      • ‘These include the food production and processing operations that occur from farm to table.’
  • sell off the farm

    • informal Sell the capital assets of a country to foreign interests.

      ‘the government is happy to keep selling off the farm’
      • ‘There is, however, growing disquiet in the community about what many see as selling off the farm.’
      • ‘The union is calling for appropriate levels of funding for the Service rather than selling off the farm for so-called short-term financial relief.’
      • ‘"We are selling off the farm and pretty soon there won't be any farm left," he said.’
      • ‘Not selling off the farm seems a good idea for maximizing national independence.’
      • ‘Critics within the oil industry say that the government is selling the farm, and that it should have confined the international oil companies to oilfields which had been discovered but not developed.’


Middle English: from Old French ferme, from medieval Latin firma ‘fixed payment’, from Latin firmare ‘fix, settle’ (in medieval Latin ‘contract for’), from firmus ‘constant, firm’; compare with firm. The noun originally denoted a fixed annual amount payable as rent or tax; this is reflected in farm (sense 3 of the verb), which later gave rise to ‘to subcontract’ ( farm (sense 2 of the verb)). The noun came to denote a lease, and, in the early 16th century, land leased for farming. The verb sense ‘grow crops or keep livestock’ dates from the early 19th century.