Definition of grass in US English:



  • 1Vegetation consisting of typically short plants with long, narrow leaves, growing wild or cultivated on lawns and pasture, and as a fodder crop.

    • ‘She turned to see him waving at her in the midst of a field of tall, brown and green grass and brightly colored wild flowers.’
    • ‘But it was not too hard to do this at this time of year when wild grass grew abundantly in the fields.’
    • ‘There was little plant life to be seen save for the dark green grass scattered about the lawn.’
    • ‘The forest floor was covered with fallen leaves and needles, and had patches of short grass in a few places.’
    • ‘As all who have charge of a lawn well know, grass is encouraged to grow by being cut.’
    • ‘The farmer of the field behind us is growing a crop of grass for seed.’
    • ‘The grass has grown, the hawthorn hedge is fully in leaf, different plants are in bloom and new ones are sprouting, apple and pear trees are in blossom.’
    • ‘Trees, plants and grass are able to grow, purifying the air and making a better environment for our children.’
    • ‘People are selling off household assets and livestock in order to survive, and are eating wild plants and grass seeds.’
    • ‘Cover crops such as redtop grass keep competing natural vegetation in check and allow oak saplings to flourish.’
    • ‘They feed on more than 100 species of plants, including grass, leaves, twigs and bark.’
    • ‘The ground was mostly barren with just short grass, where no vegetation dared to grow.’
    • ‘The area is dirty, with wild grass growing on the land which is surrounded by a thick brick wall.’
    • ‘There are all sorts of ways to get grass or crops to grow.’
    • ‘The lawn was never mown; grass grew high around the front door steps.’
    • ‘There were animals twittering and chirping and plants growing and grass blowing in the breeze.’
    • ‘They also eat certain types of grass and may eat wild fruits like berries if these grow in their natural habitat.’
    • ‘The only noise that came to me was from the soles of my boots brushing against the wild grass growing on the weathered road.’
    • ‘Then, suddenly, the colours vanished, to be unexpectedly replaced with a field of short, green grass.’
    • ‘Soon after the breakfast, she goes back to her enclosure where she is provided with green grass, fodder and occasionally sugarcane.’
    turf, greenery, green, sod
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    1. 1.1 Ground covered with grass.
      ‘he sat down on the grass’
      • ‘Include some bare ground rather than all grass, ground cover, or mulch.’
      • ‘Charlie spent many hours lying on the grass or patrolling atop the wall.’
      • ‘The van started shifting towards the right, slowly pushing Pete into the curb, leaving him nowhere to go except on the grass.’
      • ‘Feeling his strength renewed he cast aside his staff and walked steadily upon lush, green grass.’
      • ‘Some ducks, such as mallard and pintail, will nest in grass and lush ground cover up to a kilometre or more away from the water body.’
      • ‘Christmas lights decorated every house with cheery lights and lit up Santas, reindeers frolicking on the bright green grass.’
      • ‘Her evidence was that as they walked in the park, the appellant steered her off the footpath onto the grass.’
      • ‘An ambulance was called which took approximately 20 minutes to arrive, during which time I remained lying on the grass.’
      • ‘Neither of them wore shoes on the soft, springy, green grass.’
      • ‘When we were children if you sat on the grass the police would come and tell you to move.’
      • ‘I walked over the long green grass to one of the recumbent stones next to the gate of the field and stood on top of it.’
      • ‘I went to have a look and I saw him lying on the grass and… that's it.’
      • ‘The bay window looked out onto the street, a wide stretch of paved road, pocked with grass and lined by a dozen more houses, spaced out by tens of feet of lush grass and shrubbery.’
      • ‘What a lovely, fast, practically empty stretch of motorway that is - so new the embankments to either side aren't yet covered by grass.’
      • ‘After a brief conversation with them they left the house and discovered the red bag sitting on the grass next to the driveway.’
      • ‘From each point of contact, rolling wheel tracks through the grass on the verge identify the subsequent course of travel.’
      • ‘He noticed two paper envelopes on the floor and found shoe marks on the grass at the rear of the building.’
      • ‘Landon put the sleeping bag down on the grass and crawled inside.’
    2. 1.2 Pastureland.
      ‘the farms were mostly given over to grass’
      • ‘Most of the land is under grass at the moment and carries a flock of 265 ewes and a small Aberdeen Angus herd, as well as commercial cattle for fattening.’
      • ‘Temporary alfalfa pasture can reduce grazing pressure on grass pastures and provide better quality forage.’
      • ‘He runs a herd of 70 Friesian-Holstein dairy cattle on his 200-acre farm where all but 50 acres of the land is in grass.’
      • ‘The land is all in grass and there is part of an old farmhouse and outoffices on it, as well as good road frontage.’
      • ‘All the land is under grass and the agent suggests there is room for an extension to the existing property, subject to planning permission.’
  • 2The mainly herbaceous plant that constitutes grass, which has jointed stems and spikes of small, wind-pollinated flowers.

    Grasses belong to the large family Gramineae (or Poaceae; the grass family), and form the dominant vegetation of many areas of the world. The possession of a growing point that is mainly at ground level makes grasses suitable as the food of many grazing animals, and for use in lawns and playing fields

    • ‘In subsequent years, plant additional perennials and grasses to fill gaps and replace annuals.’
    • ‘We have planted 30 different grasses, herbs and clovers, and our animals wander all around the farm to spread life into the soil.’
    • ‘It is wind-born pollen from plants that have inconspicuous flowers like wild grasses or ragweed that are the major causes of respiratory allergy.’
    • ‘Plants that were once common - mainly, grasses and sedges - had become even more common.’
    • ‘The most common cool-season grasses are orchard grass, smooth brome, meadow brome and creeping foxtail.’
    • ‘The best time for planting grasses is in the spring or fall although in northern regions that don't get too hot in the summer this season works as well.’
    • ‘Bulbs can be planted in turf grasses which are about a year-and-a-half mature, with no damage to the roots.’
    • ‘Food is mainly roots, leaves, stems and shoots of grasses, reeds and sedges.’
    • ‘The hardy grasses such as fine fescue and Kentucky bluegrass grow well here, but only with supplemental irrigation.’
    • ‘We rarely think of grasses as edging plants, but I have two favorites that fill that role nicely.’
    • ‘The rest of the property is planted with native grasses, including blue grama and buffalo grass.’
    • ‘The course is lined with beautiful oak trees, native grasses and plants.’
    • ‘Native or closely related species of trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants and grasses are positioned close to the perimeter.’
    • ‘The roofs are planted with a variety of native prairie grasses and flowers and have become habitat for birds and ground squirrels.’
    • ‘The extinct mammoths ate mainly grasses, sedges, and other riparian plants, salt bush, prickly pear, and even some needles of blue spruce.’
    • ‘The plants sprouting now include grasses, clovers, dandelions, several types of thistle, mustards, and small composites.’
    • ‘In summer months they eat cacti, sagebrush, mesquite, alfalfa, clover, other grasses, and herbaceous vegetation.’
    • ‘In the Midwest, that might mean planting prairie grasses and flowers along with - or even instead of - an English garden.’
    • ‘Some plants like ornamental grasses or irises may require knives, machetes, or even hatchets to get the job done, but it is worth it.’
    • ‘Constant watering encourages grassy weeds like foxtail and perennial grasses like bluegrass to invade alfalfa.’
  • 3informal Marijuana.

    • ‘The shanty bands sing about cocaine, grass, booze, sex and football fandom.’
    • ‘So I just smoked bagfuls of grass, stared at the sea, and debated whether to order a pineapple pancake for lunch or to take my chances with the fish.’
    • ‘I smoke a heroic amount of hash / grass as it is, so that's not the problem!’
    • ‘Then the year after that I smoked some grass with him in his hotel room - it was fantastic synchronicity - true greatness.’
    • ‘And then there's Pushers' Street, where hash and grass are set out on open stalls for sale.’
    • ‘Marijuana (grass, pot, weed) is the common name for a crude drug made from the plant Cannabis sativa.’
    • ‘Often buying grass would put you into much closer proximity to someone who might sell something harder.’
    • ‘I decide to break them in gently with the weakest joint I've ever rolled, made from the least powerful grass the coffee shop will sell.’
    • ‘I would like to start with my personal experience with grass and Cannabis.’
    • ‘It comes as a solid dark lump or as leaves, called resin and grass respectively.’
    • ‘One member of the family recalls that all they did was ‘smoke grass, drop acid and make love as much as possible’.’
    • ‘The last drug I took was a mix of marijuana in the forms of resin and grass.’
    • ‘She told of how Sam had harassed one employee so bad that he had driven him to smoke grass to calm his nerves.’
    • ‘Terms from years ago, such as pot, herb, grass, weed, Mary Jane and reefer, are still used.’
    • ‘The principal benefit of smoking grass through a bong is that the smoke is cooled and several carcinogens are removed without removing the active ingredients.’
    • ‘Ron Mann's film Grass chronicles the federal government's extensive and costly war on marijuana.’
    • ‘I have been smoking grass for almost 25 years, starting in my twenties.’
    • ‘When I go to Switzerland or Holland I can buy grass from coffee shops.’
    • ‘According to some sources there is a very low risk of developing cancer or bronchitis from smoking pure grass joints.’
    cannabis, marijuana, hashish, bhang, hemp, kef, kif, charas, ganja, sinsemilla
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  • 4British informal A police informer.

    • ‘It's based on an old tramp, he is a total down and out drunk, he's a grass and soon finds out that his life is going to end in a fire.’
    • ‘He then asked who the drug dealer was and when he found out he said, 'I wouldn't do it for him anyway because he's a grass and his supplier's a grass."’
    informer, mole, stool pigeon
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[with object]
  • 1Cover (an area of ground) with grass.

    ‘hillsides so closely grassed over, they seem to be painted green’
    • ‘That area is currently grassed with no proper footway.’
    • ‘So most of the rubble was quickly shifted before the area was grassed over and turned into a small park near the water's edge.’
    • ‘He said the cash would be better spent on providing parking and repairing damaged verges and grassed areas.’
    • ‘At least our school is privileged enough to have a grassed rugby field.’
    • ‘This paid for a new track and the upgrading of changing and viewing facilities, CCTV and improvements to the infield grassed area.’
    • ‘The new facility includes climbing equipment, a sand tray, wobble board, storage shed and grassed area.’
    • ‘Stadiums surround most of the field, although there is a small grassed area that is very popular with spectators.’
    • ‘It was grassed over in 1987 and parts of it were developed to include the travellers' caravan amenity site.’
    • ‘She suggested that the Castle car park be grassed over and the foundations of the Victorian prison walls beneath exposed, as had been done with the remains of St Mary's Abbey.’
    • ‘The court, which is crossed by a covered walkway linking the two buildings, has been grassed over to provide a quiet area for pupils and staff.’
    • ‘They were very impressed by the well cut grassed areas, the stone flower beds at the seafront, and the floral features at a number of private and business premises.’
    • ‘The plans were then amended to exclude the original proposals for a synthetic hockey pitch and floodlighting and add a new bowling green and retention of existing grassed areas.’
    • ‘It is to be replaced with a commemorative grassed area where occasional services will be held.’
    • ‘After the Easter Rising of 1916 much of the rubble of the city was piled into one corner of the ground and grassed over to become the beloved terrace area that still survives and bears the name Hill 16.’
    • ‘Options which are being considered include upgrading the existing grassed playing field which is used for sports, science and other projects at the school or replacing that facility with an all-weather football pitch.’
    • ‘The car park area should be grassed over so it becomes integrated with the whole space in front of the Castle Museum and surrounding Clifford's Tower.’
    • ‘With excellent indoor/outdoor flow, the patio and grassed areas are idyllic and on fine, cold days, outdoor heaters take the chill out of al fresco relaxation.’
    • ‘It is set in pleasant parkland with good tree cover and grassed areas running along the riverbank.’
    • ‘The spokesman said: ‘If negotiations are successful all this will be achieved without significant loss of existing grassed areas.’’
    • ‘A small number of children gathered outside the school last night, while inside the gates on a small grassed area were four bunches of flowers.’
    cover with grass, grass over, turf, lay grass on
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    1. 1.1US Feed (livestock) with grass.
      • ‘There are 565 Highland cattle grassed nine months.’
      • ‘Cows grassed, birds sang and everything was a bliss.’
      • ‘Getting this animal out to grass reduces daily feed costs in half and should achieve over 1kg daily liveweight gain.’
      • ‘The treatments involved early turnout of cows to grass for 2 h per day at two residual sward heights and two silage allowances, plus a control treatment, in a randomized block design.’
      • ‘The it got more flat, and some parts were cultivated, but most were open areas where cattle were grassing.’
      • ‘Given the high cost of concentrates this winter the early turnout of cows to grass this spring is likely to be an important aim on many farms.’
  • 2British informal no object Inform the police of criminal activity or plans.

    ‘someone had grassed on the thieves’
    • ‘Somebody must be proud of having grassed on her.’
    • ‘To grass on a pusher ring police or contact Crimestoppers.’
    • ‘You need accurate, up-to-date intelligence and friends on the ground, not a lot of terrified taxi drivers and unemployed bachelors confessing to ludicrous schemes and grassing out their neighbors to save themselves.’
    • ‘The man who asked not to be identified was so fed up with his estate being used as a racetrack that he grassed the offenders up to police.’
    • ‘You'd still have to grass up whoever made the posting, though.’
    • ‘Anyone even thought to be left wing was subpoenaed, defamed and then blacklisted by the studio bosses if they refused to grass on their friends.’
    • ‘Her ambition and drive are very much a part of her everyday work - she has no qualms about grassing on a colleague if it gets her out of trouble.’
    • ‘Ross is consumed by his need to discover who grassed about his bank robbery, and had him locked up for eight years.’
    • ‘It might sound harsh to some, but police say grassing on a drinker-driver could save lives.’
    • ‘To find out who grassed on him read the rest of the review.’
    • ‘They give him free weed and they may commence in their business without him grassing them up.’
    • ‘I did a robbery and I got grassed up off my own brother and got four years.’
    • ‘We mocked a Net-based plan to get people to grass up their neighbours whom they suspected of welfare fraud’
    • ‘Convicted criminals will be urged to grass on their fellow inmates by a new range of cutlery carrying the number of the Crimestoppers scheme.’
    • ‘Amazingly though, after grassing in the boys who carried out the attack, they are only suspended, the police heard nothing about it and neither did Daniel's parents.’
    • ‘Likewise, he has a one in four chance, if he grasses, of going free, but a one in two chance of avoiding the ten year sentence, because if both prisoners talk the sentence is only five years.’
    • ‘Here's what the person who informed on the online company said about grassing up their employer.’
    • ‘An industry snitch has pocketed £4,000 after grassing on a Scottish IT company for using pirated software.’
    • ‘Yes the person who had grassed us to the Police never thought they would get one of their own.’
    • ‘But then their class aren't expected to grass each other up.’
    inform, tell
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  • the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence

    • proverb Other people's lives or situations always seem better than one's own.

      • ‘The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Just do your best.’
      • ‘I guess the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.’
      • ‘There is an old adage that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.’
  • not let the grass grow under one's feet

    • Not delay in acting or taking an opportunity.

      • ‘Want to promote your business? Don't let the grass grow under your feet.’
      • ‘The Tidy Towns season is upon us, so don't let the grass grow under your feet.’
      • ‘The editor said: ‘Grans don't let the grass grow under their feet.’
      • ‘Catherine proved that she doesn't let the grass grow under her feet as she won the Northern Women's Championship.’
      • ‘She still doesn't let the grass grow under her feet. She still drives, she travels by herself, she still tries to take care of everyone.’


Old English græs, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch gras, German Gras, also ultimately to green and grow.