Definition of agrarian in US English:



  • 1Relating to cultivated land or the cultivation of land.

    ‘Brazil is rapidly diversifying its agrarian economy’
    • ‘These broad divisions were reflected in kinship practices, women's land rights and agrarian alliances that continue to the present.’
    • ‘In brief, Kuznets argued that a simple agrarian economy should generally exhibit low income levels and little inequality across groups.’
    • ‘Its economy was predominantly agrarian, farmers being outranked only by warriors among the four traditional classes of society, with artisans below them and merchants at the very bottom.’
    • ‘Colleges of Agriculture have drawn from a historically shrinking agrarian population base.’
    • ‘Because of interest in the issue of agrarian ethics, the focus was on students in agricultural fields.’
    • ‘The value of acorns as fodder and the tree as timber was significant in the agrarian economy.’
    • ‘At the start of the period the region was overwhelmingly agrarian, with small farmers working arable land in the river valleys, keeping livestock in the meadows, and sometimes working for the lumber industry.’
    • ‘Patrilocality involves, a couple residing at the man's home, which goes hand in hand with inheritance - especially in agrarian peasant societies where land is the main productive asset that is inherited.’
    • ‘In traditional agrarian life, land was almost never divided, because to do so might imperil the next generation's ability to survive.’
    • ‘Brazil was a paradigmatic case of urban and rural mobilization during these decades, with agrarian leagues claiming land and labor rights and electorates voting for progressive change.’
    • ‘The answers lie in work opportunities in a rural agrarian economy and sparsely populated state.’
    • ‘The world as a whole needs to remain primarily agrarian - but if agriculture is just a business, then the fewer on the land, the better.’
    • ‘By providing cheap, fast and dependable transport into the interior regions the railway not only opened up these areas to the cultivation of existing crops but also allowed a further diversification of the island's agrarian economy.’
    • ‘Trauth contrasted those findings from Humboldt County with earlier and ongoing research on Ireland's transformation from an agrarian economy to a high-tech one.’
    • ‘‘The mission of the Land Association is to unify us as an agrarian community,’ explains head gardener Sebastian Kretschmer.’
    • ‘For the foreseeable future the world's economy has to be primarily agrarian.’
    • ‘However, the economy is primarily agrarian, with principal crops of rice, sugar cane, maize, and wheat.’
    • ‘After the harvests were in, this unified production aspect of the agrarian economy came to an end.’
    • ‘According to Minister of Economy Nikolai Vassilev, agrarian land has been separated into 25 million parts.’
    • ‘In the industrialized areas such as Pattaya and Bangkok, it is easy to forget that Thailand is still mainly an agrarian economy, even if telecommunication towers are now appearing in the rice fields.’
    farm, farming
    agricultural, rural, countryside, farming, rustic, pastoral, bucolic
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    1. 1.1 Relating to landed property.
      ‘the agrarian reforms’
      • ‘When you learn about history you don't hear about medieval agrarian reform do you?’
      • ‘His agrarian reforms, especially those against large property, made him unpopular among the bourgeoisie.’
      • ‘The Minister in charge of rural development and agrarian reform was not even told about the plan.’
      • ‘Increasingly, government-sponsored agrarian reform initiatives were targeted only for areas where rural unrest or insurgency threatened.’
      • ‘He shows that implementing market-based reforms in an agrarian setting to address the water question cannot be imposed but must be integrated within and adopted by local systems of governance if they are to succeed.’
      • ‘Following the elections and with no sign of the promised agrarian reforms, movements in the countryside joined the insurrectionary situation in the cities.’
      • ‘Until recently, the legal cornerstone of land tenure was the 1953 agrarian reform law, which recognized various property regimes subject to different legal rights and obligations.’
      • ‘The agrarian reform train is passing through your village this week.’
      • ‘Basically, it was peasants looking for agrarian reform, even back then.’
      • ‘A Presidential Land Review Committee, appointed in 2003, has made specific recommendations on the gender dimensions of the agrarian change and reform.’
      • ‘Especially in the grain-producing areas, peasants were angered by the government's failure to protect them from the consequences of agrarian reform.’
      • ‘A far-reaching agrarian reform is also underway.’
      • ‘On March 27 urban and rural workers marched demanding agrarian reform and the suspension of a policy of privatizations.’
      • ‘Moreover, why measure pre-Second World War income inequality via the distribution of agrarian property and the quality of human capital?’
      • ‘Despite mounting calls for agrarian reform and revisions to the 1960 Agrarian Law there has been little headway in the legal field on this subject.’
      • ‘Oddly, the elected government's plan included agrarian reforms and programs of aid to peasants and workers against the wishes of the upper classes and ‘foreign enterprises.’’
      • ‘I didn't understand, as a child, when they spoke of agrarian reform or urban reform, what they were talking about.’
      • ‘In particular, the promise of agrarian reform remains unfulfilled.’
      • ‘The party's internal social programs include improved enforcement of environmental protection laws, addressing the problems faced by indigenous communities, and agrarian reform.’
      • ‘Some 200,000 landless families are squatting in camps beside federal roadways and the landless movement is pressing the President to deliver the agrarian reform he has long promised.’
      farm, farming
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  • A person who advocates a redistribution of landed property, especially as part of a social movement.

    • ‘Political groupings include former communists, socialists, agrarians, liberals, nationalists and various centrist and independent forces.’
    • ‘And third-party agrarians, particularly sensitive to farm debt, chose currency inflation over the gold standard.’
    • ‘The monarchy remained in place, while big business and agrarians retained much influence.’
    • ‘There are social democrats, agrarians and other parties in the movement.’
    • ‘Social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, libertarians, agrarians, communitarians, foreign-policy hawks - who can figure them out?’


Early 17th century (originally denoting a Roman law for the division of conquered lands): from Latin agrarius, from ager, agr- ‘field’.