Definition of cheat grass in US English:

cheat grass

(also cheatgrass)


North American
  • A tough wild grass of open land, sometimes growing as a weed among cereal crops and in pasture.

    Genus Bromus, family Gramineae: several species, in particular B. tectorum

    • ‘I have been informed by a friend the ‘Shenandoah’ is a cheat grass and is very aggressive.’
    • ‘This problem is acute in Nevada, where the cycle of fire disturbance has spurred the invasive cheat grass to alter range and wildlife habitats.’
    • ‘Northwest Agricultural Products is field-testing a new product to keep invasive cheat grass from re-establishing itself on part of the Hanford Reach after a fire.’
    • ‘Thus, many of America's most aggressive weeds, especially in the temperate zones, come from European origins: dandelions, crabgrass, wild oats, sow thistle, kudzu, tumbleweed, plantain, cheat grass, and many others.’
    • ‘Bladderpod is an annual plant and it competes poorly with cedar trees, cheat grass, and fescue.’
    • ‘There are herbicide options for cheat grass control in winter wheat but they are expensive and rarely do they have 100% control.’
    • ‘A pilot project to address these issues is planned for the Nowater Creek watershed that will use herbicides to control cheat grass and increase the production of native grasses and forbs.’
    • ‘The presence of cheat grass increases the occurrence of fire from every 60-100 years in native rangelands to every 3-5 years.’
    • ‘These relatively undisturbed areas have shown little invasion by cheat grass and other exotics.’
    • ‘However, we gained a lot of insight into how significant an increase in cheat grass can be when you have the right conditions.’
    • ‘The proliferation of cheat grass followed in the wake of prescribed burns done in the canyon by the forest service to push back juniper trees and improve bighorn sheep habitat.’
    • ‘Finally, supervised and unsupervised classification techniques were also used to map the cheat grass.’


Late 18th century: a local word for various wild plants, perhaps from their resemblance to the cereals among which they grew.