Definition of farm in English:

farm

noun

  • 1An area of land and its buildings used for growing crops and rearing animals, typically under the control of one owner or manager.

    • ‘The City of Hamburg owns two large organic farms.’
    • ‘Your neighbour brings you back a sack of potatoes from his uncle's farm.’
    • ‘The students of the school were told about the need for preserving farm animals.’
    • ‘My uncles' farm was one of three farms on a private road.’
    • ‘Every evening the animals will be taken to a farm on the outskirts of Dublin where they can rest overnight.’
    • ‘But the ultimate cost will be the tragic demise of small family farms around the world.’
    • ‘In 2002 he bought neighbouring farms and his estate is now 2500 acres.’
    • ‘Private cars and visitors, too, must comply if they visit farms in the area.’
    • ‘The highlight of my summers was going out to my uncle's farm about three miles outside the town.’
    • ‘The 37-year-old farm labourer has one week left to find a home.’
    • ‘Joseph began work as a farm labourer and the family settled into Canterbury life.’
    • ‘Total land in farms, at 46,400 acres, is unchanged from last year.’
    • ‘Some species of waterfowl adapted to feeding on rice, barley, lettuce, and other crops grown on farms in California.’
    • ‘I have certainly come across studies and examples where badly managed larger scale farms have damaged the environment.’
    • ‘He put my grandfather's farm up for sale and had an offer on it.’
    • ‘Long active in the community, he has operated a family farm for 30 years.’
    • ‘She is one of four children who grew up on their father's farm in the south.’
    • ‘Items sold were mostly local and seasonal, farm produce or locally made artefacts.’
    • ‘He says that 200,000-acre factory farms fit his vision of what agriculture should be.’
    • ‘Only 20 percent of the small family farms in the area are left.’
    smallholding, holding, farmstead, steading, grange, plantation, estate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The main dwelling place on a farm; a farmhouse.
      ‘a half-timbered farm’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Village life revolved round the church, two farms and the local pub, the Old Bell Inn.’
      • ‘It has established numerous farms, stores, and restaurants.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He added that this goes for houses, flats, farms, factories and offices.’
      • ‘It ranges across the industrial and domestic spectrum from factories and offices to the the farm or the home.’
      • ‘But these programmes were to be paid for by local taxpayers, taxed through the rates due on houses, farms, factories, and offices.’
      • ‘You could build schools, farms, or factories that will provide for these people far into the future.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Each age built something they thought lasting - fortress, farms, railway, church or quarry - but all have given way.’
      • ‘There has been a flurry of school trips, including London Zoo, farms, museums and galleries and lots of visiting theatre groups.’
      • ‘He called at several big houses as well as farms and cottages, usually selling out before arriving ‘home’.’
      • ‘Key documents have been hidden in farms, homes and mosques.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Threshfield, it was said, consisted of 17 houses, four farms, a shop, a pub and a chapel.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They visited farms, museums and castle sites and had a very enjoyable time accompanied by their teachers.’
    2. 1.2with modifier A place for breeding a particular type of animal or producing a specified crop.
      ‘a fish farm’
      • ‘The owners of a new stud farm on green belt land are being allowed to extend the buildings.’
      • ‘He owns the largest Tilapia fish farm in the Philippines with 10 million fishes.’
      • ‘Dubbed the queen of science fiction, she lives next door in Dragonhold Underhill, her rolling stud farm.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I am sure there must be a few good/healthy salmon fish farms.’
      • ‘She coordinates preventative medicine programs and pathology at Hagen's parrot breeding farm and research institute.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So, she is just trying to build a better poultry farm with the help of the whole village.’
      • ‘My grandfather's horse farm contained all sorts of breeds.’
      • ‘But these people aren't, after all, poultry farm workers.’
      • ‘He grew up on a grape and citrus farm at Robinvale, on the Murray River in north-west Victoria.’
      • ‘He owns the well-known breeding and stallion farm, Ballylinch Stud home of the legendary Tetrarch and part of the Mount Juliet Estate.’
      • ‘It is the foremost fish breeding farm in Europe and they take so much care over the fish and the area.’
      • ‘The group has an option to buy a chicken farm where it wants to build a sophisticated textile factory.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Visiting the pig farm will bring grief and loss into sharp focus once again.’
      • ‘You could say that the farmers who run intensive poultry farms deserve criticism for not looking after animals properly.’
      • ‘The country's 300 salmon farms produce 160,000 tonnes of fish a year.’
      • ‘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.’
      ranch, range
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3with modifier An establishment at which something is produced or processed.
      ‘an energy farm’
      • ‘But those benefits disappear if the wind farms are owned by a utility.’
      • ‘And he bought an organic dairy farm in Wales.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Previous attempts by local entrepreneurs to establish broiler farms were foiled by dumping below cost from the large producers in South Africa.’
      • ‘I asked the people there about the large windmill farm east of the Crowsnest Pass in Southern Alberta.’
      • ‘Hundreds of objections to plans to build the wind farm have been made.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘At a Kurow dairy farm owned by Meridian Energy, this stray voltage was found to be around 1.5 volts.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘On one hand the government takes on money from JBIC and on the other it is promoting the destructive prawn farm cultivation.’
      • ‘Any company of their capitalization that can't manage to run a server farm successfully has serious internal management problems.’
      • ‘Besides the skydiving side of the business, the owner, 36, also runs an organic dairy farm.’
      • ‘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.’

verb

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

    ‘he has farmed organically for five years’
    • ‘Most Quechua rely on subsistence farming for their livelihood.’
    • ‘I am also aware that New Zealand has made its living by doing farming in a very functional and technologically targeted way.’
    • ‘All that is consistent with the government's commitment to environmentally-friendly farming.’
    • ‘Wayne and Ruth are looking creatively for new ways to make farming viable in western North Carolina.’
    • ‘He said he didn't go into art expecting a career and figured he would be earning a living from farming, gardening, or labouring.’
    • ‘He farmed in partnership with his father, and for a few years also with his older brother Eric.’
    • ‘He's farmed organically since 1983 and has been a certified organic grower since 1995.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Under the new scheme individuals will be allowed to farm in partnership with their parents under a formal partnership arrangement.’
    • ‘Zambian vernacular architecture is integrated with nature in an agricultural society of subsistence farming.’
    • ‘State-owned railways and state-funded irrigation schemes helped make farming viable on this far-flung frontier.’
    • ‘Most people farmed for a living, and others took care of all necessary needs in the community.’
    • ‘He is one of a dwindling number of farmers who depend sorely on farming for a living.’
    • ‘There are still a lot of hungry farmers out there who want to make their living from 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.’
    • ‘In the last year Jay has decided he might want to farm full-time.’
    • ‘We thought anyone who was making a living from farming was farming conventionally.’
    • ‘But then he farmed for a living as had his father and grandfather before him.’
    • ‘A small coffee industry and subsistence farming counterbalance the poverty of the land reserves.’
    • ‘In Belize, they are the poorest of the poor, most living by subsistence farming.’
    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, especially commercially.
      • ‘Together she and her husband farmed the ranch land, and she bore seven children.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Indians grew the sugar in the west and farmed their land with great quantities of artificial fertilizers.’
      • ‘Many conventionally farmed soils around here barely have 1 to 2 percent organic matter.’
      • ‘They continued to farm the land but eventually that all stopped.’
      • ‘It is really a culture of farming where food and farming the land are the center of the celebration of human culture.’
      • ‘He also farmed the land and was well versed in many aspects of the farming scene.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘You can structure your conservation easement so that you may still build one or more houses, farm the land and hunt wild animals.’
      • ‘But although peasants farmed all the land in 1800, they often owned less than half of it.’
      • ‘Joyance missed the days when she and her husband and young son had farmed the land her house sat upon.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘People had been forced out of farming their land and got the ‘cheque in the post.’’
      • ‘He resided just across the road from Burke's Shop where he farmed his land.’
      • ‘Bob farmed the land where the couple's home now stands.’
      • ‘The land was farmed for years, then was changed for residential development.’
      • ‘Campaigners are also lobbying the government to increase the percentage of organically farmed land.’
      • ‘He farmed some land, growing much of what my mother served our family at dinner time.’
      • ‘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.’
      cultivate, bring under cultivation, till, work, plough, dig, plant
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2with object Breed or grow commercially (a type of livestock or crop, especially one not normally domesticated or cultivated).
      • ‘The fish-farming industry was brought to its knees by some report saying that eating farmed salmon can kill you.’
      • ‘The scientists tracked the source of the pollutants to the fish meal fed to intensively farmed salmon.’
      • ‘Farmers began to use a new system, the three-field system, to farm their crops.’
      • ‘Instead, family farming has remained prevalent because people have adjusted by farming different crops and combining agriculture with other ways of making a living.’
      • ‘Biodiverse farming involves simultaneously farming several crops.’
      • ‘Two of them were game farms and the rest were used to farm crops and livestock.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I can't be reassured that the liver in this isn't from intensively farmed animals.’
      • ‘As someone who farms arable crops near Swindon, I am only too aware that farmers are struggling.’
      • ‘These movement restrictions apply to all farmed livestock within that area.’
      • ‘I rejoice in the sustainable food source that is farmed livestock.’
      • ‘We deserve the grid we have - after all we value commercially farmed oysters over human life and comforts.’
      • ‘Castor plants that are free of ricin and allergens could renew interest in farming this crop.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Like all farmed livestock, salmon are regularly checked by veterinarians and occasionally require the use of licensed medicines.’
      • ‘In many cases households switch to farming crops that are less labour intensive, but these crops, the FAO notes, are often also less nutritious.’
      • ‘The grim reality is that the only way to save them is to farm them commercially.’
      • ‘They have farmed their dairy herd at Gorsehill Abbey Farm for many years.’
      • ‘Most salmon sold at supermarkets in the United States are farmed salmon, grown with feed derived from soybeans.’
      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’
    • ‘The lesser pieces are farmed out to their student accommodation.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Booking arrangements will be farmed out to private retail outlets, or passengers will be forced to use the Internet to make reservations.’
    • ‘Issues that threaten to create permanent obstacles are farmed out to commissions so they can be dealt with down the line.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Once operations are farmed out to a private investor, soon only the tracks and railbed will be publicly-owned, he said.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There is no technical reason why farming it out to private providers or mutuals cannot work.’
    • ‘The deputy prime minister warned it was a mistake to think entire departments would be farmed out to the regions.’
    • ‘A lot of government services are farmed out to the private sector.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘All too frequently major issues that need decisions are farmed out to outsiders to make reports.’
    • ‘Trained inmates can be farmed out to local businesses, providing a good service in return for on-the-job training.’
    • ‘Spare ones will be farmed out to other universities which have expressed an interest in getting involved.’
    • ‘Many tasks have been farmed out to private, unaccountable contractors.’
    • ‘Protection products and pensions feature strongly, while tax advice on more complex transactions tends to be farmed out to tax specialists.’
    • ‘Rather, they are automatically farmed out to subcontractors, who ship finished products directly to customers.’
    • ‘Full-time positions are being farmed out as contract work.’
    • ‘Professional crossword makers farm their puzzles out to experts for a test drive before they are published.’
    • ‘All the component projects are farmed out across the country.’
    contract out, outsource, assign to others, subcontract, delegate
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Arrange for a child or other dependent person to be looked after by someone, usually for payment.
      • ‘Her father's alcoholism plunged the family into poverty so humiliating that Dolly was farmed out to various generous strangers for upbringing.’
      • ‘Whoever farmed me out for adoption put a lot of work into covering up everything about where - or who - I came from.’
      • ‘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
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2dated Send a sports player to a farm team.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The RFU, not the clubs, would employ players and farm them out to the clubs.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 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.’

Phrases

  • bet the farm

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

      ‘they're betting the farm on this merger bid’
  • 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’
      • ‘But from farm to table, the industry could well lose a quarter of a billion dollars.’
      • ‘These include the food production and processing operations that occur from farm to table.’
      • ‘To meet these requirements companies need to be able to trace their products through every stage from farm to fork.’
      • ‘It helps to ensure that food is safe, from farm to fork.’
      • ‘Unless far-reaching measures are taken to address consumer concerns 'from farm to fork', the crisis will only deepen.’
      • ‘According to the company, it controls the temperature of food products "from farm to fork".’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Commissioner Byrne refers to the feed hygiene package as "the missing link" in the farm-to-fork approach to food safety.’
      • ‘Everyone in the farm-to-fork food safety system has a responsibility to reduce risk.’
      • ‘Miss Mills said she was glad the report had brought to the public's attention 'the systematic failures from farm to fork'.’

Origin

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.

Pronunciation

farm

/färm//fɑrm/