Main definitions of hay in English

: hay1hay2

hay1

noun

  • [mass noun] Grass that has been mown and dried for use as fodder.

    • ‘Some grass is grown on the farm for hay or silage, together with swede, turnip or kale for winter forage.’
    • ‘Thousands of acres of corn and hay are planted each year for cattle to eat.’
    • ‘We had somebody put our grass into square hay bales two or three years ago.’
    • ‘About three years ago, his cows began grazing mostly on pasture and were fed grain and hay over winter.’
    • ‘Forage varieties can be drilled in May and just one harvest will provide three to six tons of high protein hay or silage.’
    • ‘Several producers have cut soybeans for hay or silage.’
    • ‘By the time we headed back to the palace, we smelled of horse manure and hay, with hay and grass sticking out from our hair and clothes.’
    • ‘Tractors cannot be used on land to convey fodder to feeding sites and farmers have to carry in hay or silage on their backs.’
    • ‘There are organic sources for any and all nutrients you'll need to grow hay and pasture.’
    • ‘He ran out of grass and began feeding cattle hay and other nutrients in August, a month earlier than usual.’
    • ‘When a field gets too weedy, Fred will seed it in grasses and turn it into pasture or hay.’
    • ‘Fall is the perfect time of the year to start hay, especially timothy or other grasses.’
    • ‘He advised farmers with surplus stock and a fodder shortage to purchase concentrate feed rather than hay.’
    • ‘He is hoping people will donate fodder and hay for a convoy for those struggling to feed their stock.’
    • ‘You also could mix grain or chopped hay with freshly chopped corn to lower the moisture content.’
    • ‘Legume hay (such as alfalfa) typically has a greater calcium content than grass hay.’
    • ‘The fruit is kept in a room for a day after harvest and thereafter, it is wrapped between layers of straw, grass, hay or paper.’
    • ‘Here we plant a mixture of alfalfa and timothy, or alfalfa and orchard grass, as hay for horses or dairy cows.’
    • ‘The Wilsons feed the hogs corn, barley, oats and hay grown on their farm.’
    • ‘Most producers had moved cattle to pastures, with hay supplies very short.’
    forage, dried grass, pasturage, herbage, silage, fodder, straw
    View synonyms

verb

[NO OBJECT]hay off
Australian
  • (of grass, etc.) dry while standing:

    ‘the grass had all hayed off and gone to seed’
    ‘the hayed-off growth is eaten through the winter’
    • ‘His cattle won't get fat until the grass has hayed off in late summer.’
    • ‘Since his field had been hayed off, the plow took up his days.’
    • ‘The grass had hayed off on the top, but underneath it was still green, providing the best cattle-fattening feed imaginable.’
    • ‘The feed hayed off to dry grass and stalks which won't maintain even a dry cow let alone one with a calf at foot.’
    • ‘The pasture has hayed off due to seasonal weather patterns.’

Phrases

  • hit the hay

    • informal Go to bed.

      • ‘Well, it's getting late and I need to hit the hay.’
      • ‘We settled down to watch some more mindless pap on the TV until it was time to hit the hay.’
      • ‘Our houseguest hit the hay at one and I went up to sleep.’
      • ‘I'll usually check my email once more before hitting the hay at night.’
      • ‘My days started and ended early, with the clinic recommending that guests hit the hay by 9pm.’
      • ‘We got home safely, sat chatting for a while over steaming mugs of tea and then hit the hay for a couple of hours.’
      • ‘Whenever you wear make-up, you should always remember to wash it all off before hitting the hay.’
      • ‘The weekend was finished off in the best way possible, with Amelia sleeping soundly from 8pm until 1am and me hitting the hay at 9.’
      • ‘He's making his usual to-do list before hitting the hay.’
      • ‘I plan to go for a few beers down the local pub before hitting the hay.’
    • informal

      see hay
  • make hay (while the sun shines)

    • proverb Make good use of an opportunity while it lasts:

      ‘they made political hay out of the issue’
      • ‘Those who opposed the war are now making hay, coming forward with accusations which would have been inconceivable a matter of weeks ago.’
      • ‘She has been making hay from embarrassing her parents for 20 years while alternately cashing in on their names.’
      • ‘If our soccer players do not appreciate the privilege of having direct access to Africa's richest soccer league, then they must blame themselves for not making hay while the sun shines.’
      • ‘She was making hay while the sun shone - making pots of money from endorsing carpets and other unlikely products.’
      • ‘The private sector has been making hay on the railways for far too long.’
      • ‘Developers in Bangalore are making hay, thanks to the sudden spurt in spending power of the average Bangalorean added to the rock bottom rates of home loans.’
      • ‘This is one of a few occasions that provide a good opportunity for both private and governmental textile houses to make hay.’
      • ‘Talk about making hay while the sun shines: this is a place that knows how to make the most of an unusually short summer season.’
      • ‘Since then Robert has been making hay with the series, but the genre is certainly played out by now.’
      • ‘With three films already released this year, and another four on the way, he has been making hay while the Californian sun shines.’
      make the most of an opportunity, exploit an opportunity, take advantage of an opportunity, capitalize on an advantage, strike while the iron is hot, seize the day
      carpe diem
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English hēg, hīeg, hīg, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hooi and German Heu, also to hew.

Pronunciation

hay

/heɪ/

Main definitions of hay in English

: hay1hay2

hay2

noun

  • 1A country dance with interweaving steps similar to a reel.

    • ‘He danced the Hays round two elbow chairs.’
    1. 1.1 A winding figure in a hay country dance.
      • ‘One of the most pleasing movements in country-dancing is what they call ‘the hay’.’

Origin

Early 16th century: from an obsolete sense a kind of dance of French haie hedge, figuratively row of people lining the route of a procession.

Pronunciation

hay

/heɪ/