Main definitions of hay in English

: hay1hay2

hay1

noun

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

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

verb

[no object]hay off
Australian
  • (of grass) dry while standing.

    ‘the grass had all hayed off and gone to seed’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His cattle won't get fat until the grass has hayed off in late summer.’
    • ‘The grass had hayed off on the top, but underneath it was still green, providing the best cattle-fattening feed imaginable.’
    • ‘The pasture has hayed off due to seasonal weather patterns.’
    • ‘Since his field had been hayed off, the plow took up his days.’

Phrases

  • hit the hay

    • informal Go to bed.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We got home safely, sat chatting for a while over steaming mugs of tea and then hit the hay for a couple of hours.’
      • ‘I plan to go for a few beers down the local pub before hitting the hay.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Whenever you wear make-up, you should always remember to wash it all off before hitting the hay.’
      • ‘I'll usually check my email once more before hitting the hay at night.’
      • ‘Our houseguest hit the hay at one and I went up to sleep.’
      • ‘My days started and ended early, with the clinic recommending that guests hit the hay by 9pm.’
  • make hay (while the sun shines)

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

      ‘they made political hay out of the issue’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The private sector has been making hay on the railways for far too long.’
      • ‘She was making hay while the sun shone - making pots of money from endorsing carpets and other unlikely products.’
      • ‘This is one of a few occasions that provide a good opportunity for both private and governmental textile houses to make hay.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She has been making hay from embarrassing her parents for 20 years while alternately cashing in on their names.’
      • ‘Those who opposed the war are now making hay, coming forward with accusations which would have been inconceivable a matter of weeks ago.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘With three films already released this year, and another four on the way, he has been making hay while the Californian sun shines.’
      • ‘Since then Robert has been making hay with the series, but the genre is certainly played out by now.’
      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
      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/