Definition of heath in English:

heath

noun

  • 1An area of open uncultivated land, especially in Britain, with characteristic vegetation of heather, gorse, and coarse grasses.

    • ‘The open moors and heaths were another source for other varieties of plants, especially berries, as well as providing areas for sheep and goat grazing.’
    • ‘Ever more marginal land including wetlands, heaths, and steep hillsides had to be brought into cultivation as the century progressed, much of it inherently unsuited to arable production.’
    • ‘The golden plover breeds in short vegetation on upland heaths and peat bogs and adults also travel each day to feed on nearby pastures.’
    • ‘Previously unexplored corners of the countryside will be unlocked, allowing people to walk freely over mapped areas of mountain, moor, heath and registered common land as of May 28.’
    • ‘The draft map published in December shows what the Agency regards as ‘open country’ - mountain, moor, heath and down land or registered common land to which the new access rights will apply.’
    • ‘Apart from the sandy heaths of the Landes, to the south of the Gironde, it was a fertile region whose warm, damp climate favoured great agricultural diversity.’
    • ‘The main threat to the species comes from loss of habitat - a reduction in the area of lowland heath or changes in forestry practice.’
    • ‘There's more moorland and open heath here than woodland, more gorse and heather than noble oak.’
    • ‘Access rights will not take effect until 2005, when definitive maps of the mountains, moorland, heath and common land covered by the legislation will be complete.’
    • ‘In arable areas such as Yorkshire, hunts were more reliant on other areas of permanent grassland such as the parkland surrounding country houses, or common lands and heaths beyond the farms.’
    • ‘Until the end of the 18th century, Great Bustards were widely distributed in England on open chalk downland, grassy heaths and agricultural land.’
    • ‘While out riding in 1711, she came upon an area of open heath, not far from Windsor Castle, that looked an ideal place for ‘horses to gallop at full stretch.’’
    • ‘This could have been due to the onset of warmer and wetter weather, as until then the landscape had been characterised by woodland and heath, but raising water levels killed the trees and the mire began to form.’
    • ‘It forms long leafy strands, with tiny, pale brown spore cases at the tips, and grows on wet heaths, peaty soil, and other places that are under water for much of the winter, preferably with some disturbance from grazing or vehicles.’
    • ‘By then, it had become obvious that it was pointless converting poor sandy soils or reclaiming heath for arable, and pine forests were planted instead.’
    • ‘She was told there was a designated flying area on the heath and by-laws could not be changed.’
    • ‘A three-month public consultation will now start on areas of mountain, moorland, heath and downland previously off-limits, but now designated open for access through the Countryside and Rights of Way Act.’
    • ‘Much of the countryside is accessible too, with hundreds of long-distance paths and shorter, waymarked routes to help you discover woodlands, heaths, hills and moors.’
    • ‘This species inhabits both the open heaths and the woodland borders and often takes advantage of patches of heath that have recently been burnt.’
    • ‘A southward depression of the treeline in favour of wet heaths, bogs and wetland tundra communities is also observed in northern oceanic environments.’
    moor, heathland, moorland, scrub, scrubs, common land, open country, upland
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Ecology Vegetation dominated by dwarf shrubs of the heath family.
      [as modifier] ‘heath vegetation’
      • ‘Coastal heath vegetation is particularly colourful this wildflower season.’
      • ‘Peaty soils dominated hollows and lower slopes with tallish heather, and subalpine soils dominated the freely drained ground with short heath.’
      • ‘After an hour this high ground offers a panoramic view of an unspoilt, uncharted, expanse of wild heath covered moorland stretching out in all directions as far as the eye can see.’
  • 2A dwarf shrub with small leathery leaves and small pink or purple bell-shaped flowers, characteristic of heathland and moorland.

    • ‘The white, purple and red flowers of heath bloom in early to late winter in the north except in bitter cold.’
    • ‘Have you ever investigated all the available varieties of heaths and heathers?’
    • ‘Cherrybank is the most northerly of the three National Collections of heathers and heaths - the others are at the Royal Horticultural Society gardens at Wisley in Surrey and Harlow Carr in Harrogate.’
    • ‘Even during winter some of the heaths provide a welcome splash of colour.’
    • ‘Sometimes I add extra leaf mould for heath or moisture-loving plants, or seaside sand for coastal plants in a trough.’
    • ‘Hardiest and most readily available of the winter-blooming heaths are varieties of Erica carnea.’
    • ‘Some of it will be attached to green plants - this is a good time, for instance, to trim back heaths that have been blooming through the winter.’
    • ‘After the logging and fires, resilient plants like fire cherry, bracken fern, and the heaths had reclaimed much of this broken landscape.’
    • ‘She worked on terraces around the main house and created an indigenous garden above the house, with aloes and proteas, Cape heaths and indigenous trees.’
    • ‘The coloured sandstone - golden, purple and orange - shows itself among the native heath and shrubs.’
    • ‘The garden designer Gertrude Jekyll was a great fan and favoured naturalistic planting companions such as heaths Erica and rock roses Cistus.’
    • ‘If snows aren't too deep, the best and most vibrant source of winter color comes from the family of heaths and heathers.’
    • ‘The winter heath is blooming heavily and the summer heather is standing erect with foliage in gorgeous hues of bronze, coral and red.’
    • ‘But if you prefer your color non-prickly, then take a look at some of the winter flowering heaths.’
    • ‘In a couple of years my winter blooming heaths will be big enough that I will be able to use those in the wreaths as well.’
    • ‘Most, but not all heathers and heaths prefer an acid soil.’
    • ‘No domestic sheep were run on the areas since at least 1900, and grazing by red deer was light, mainly on grass rather than on the heaths eaten by Rock Ptarmigan and Red Grouse.’
    • ‘Heathers and heaths need full sun and good drainage is vital, so containers and window boxes should be made of terracotta, stone or wood, never non-porous plastic or glazed pottery.’

Origin

Old English hǣth, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch heide and German Heide.

Pronunciation:

heath

/hēTH/