Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An extensive area of flat or rolling, predominantly treeless grassland, especially the large tract or plain of central North America.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. an extensive area of relatively flat grassland with few, if any, trees, especially in North America

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An extensive tract of level or rolling land, destitute of trees, covered with coarse grass, and usually characterized by a deep, fertile soil. They abound throughout the Mississippi valley, between the Alleghanies and the Rocky mountains.
  • n. A meadow or tract of grass; especially, a so called natural meadow.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A meadow; level grassy land: a word frequently used by Hennepin and other French writers in describing the country adjacent to the Mississippi river, and now in common use, designating the level or slightly undulating treeless areas which cover a large part of Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and other States further south.
  • n. Any small open space in a forest. See the extract.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a treeless grassy plain

Etymologies

French, from Old French praierie, from Vulgar Latin *prātāria, from Latin prāta, meadow.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French prairie. (Wiktionary)

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