Prairie Prai"rie, n. [F., an extensive meadow, OF. praerie, LL. prataria, fr. L. pratum a meadow.] 1. 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. [1913 Webster]

From the forests and the prairies, From the great lakes of the northland. --Longfellow. [1913 Webster]

2. A meadow or tract of grass; especially, a so called natural meadow. [1913 Webster]

{Prairie chicken} (Zo["o]l.), any American grouse of the genus {Tympanuchus}, especially {Tympanuchus Americanus} (formerly {Tympanuchus cupido}), which inhabits the prairies of the central United States. Applied also to the sharp-tailed grouse.

{Prairie clover} (Bot.), any plant of the leguminous genus {Petalostemon}, having small rosy or white flowers in dense terminal heads or spikes. Several species occur in the prairies of the United States.

{Prairie dock} (Bot.), a coarse composite plant ({Silphium terebinthaceum}) with large rough leaves and yellow flowers, found in the Western prairies.

{Prairie dog} (Zo["o]l.), a small American rodent ({Cynomys Ludovicianus}) allied to the marmots. It inhabits the plains west of the Mississippi. The prairie dogs burrow in the ground in large warrens, and have a sharp bark like that of a dog. Called also {prairie marmot}.

{Prairie grouse}. Same as {Prairie chicken}, above.

{Prairie hare} (Zo["o]l.), a large long-eared Western hare ({Lepus campestris}). See {Jack rabbit}, under 2d {Jack}.

{Prairie hawk}, {Prairie falcon} (Zo["o]l.), a falcon of Western North America ({Falco Mexicanus}). The upper parts are brown. The tail has transverse bands of white; the under parts, longitudinal streaks and spots of brown.

{Prairie hen}. (Zo["o]l.) Same as {Prairie chicken}, above.

{Prairie itch} (Med.), an affection of the skin attended with intense itching, which is observed in the Northern and Western United States; -- also called {swamp itch}, {winter itch}.

{Prairie marmot}. (Zo["o]l.) Same as {Prairie dog}, above.

{Prairie mole} (Zo["o]l.), a large American mole ({Scalops argentatus}), native of the Western prairies.

{Prairie pigeon}, {Prairie plover}, or {Prairie snipe} (Zo["o]l.), the upland plover. See {Plover}, n., 2.

{Prairie rattlesnake} (Zo["o]l.), the massasauga.

{Prairie snake} (Zo["o]l.), a large harmless American snake ({Masticophis flavigularis}). It is pale yellow, tinged with brown above.

{Prairie squirrel} (Zo["o]l.), any American ground squirrel of the genus {Spermophilus}, inhabiting prairies; -- called also {gopher}.

{Prairie turnip} (Bot.), the edible turnip-shaped farinaceous root of a leguminous plant ({Psoralea esculenta}) of the Upper Missouri region; also, the plant itself. Called also {pomme blanche}, and {pomme de prairie}.

{Prairie warbler} (Zo["o]l.), a bright-colored American warbler ({Dendroica discolor}). The back is olive yellow, with a group of reddish spots in the middle; the under parts and the parts around the eyes are bright yellow; the sides of the throat and spots along the sides, black; three outer tail feathers partly white.

{Prairie wolf}. (Zo["o]l.) See {Coyote}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • prairie — [ preri ] n. f. • praiere 1150; de pré ♦ Surface couverte de plantes herbacées (graminées et légumineuses) qui fournit du fourrage au bétail. Prairie naturelle ou permanente, non ensemencée. ⇒ pré; embouche, herbage, 1. noue, pâturage. Faucher… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Prairie — (engl. Prärie ) ist geografische Bezeichnung von Baileys Prairie, Ort im Brazoria County, US Bundesstaat Texas Blooming Prairie, Stadt im Steele County, Minnesota , USA Eden Prairie, Stadt im US Bundesstaat Minnesota Grande Prairie Stadt in… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Prairie — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Nom commun …   Wikipédia en Français

  • prairie — (n.) tract of level or undulating grassland in North America, 1773, from Fr. prairie, from O.Fr. praerie (12c.), from V.L. *prataria, from L. pratum meadow, originally a hollow. The word existed in Middle English as prayere, but was lost and… …   Etymology dictionary

  • prairie — Prairie. s. f. Grande estenduë de terre en pré. Il y a en cet endroit une prairie de deux lieuës, le long de la riviere. aller à la prairie. se promener dans la prairie, dans les prairies …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Prairie — (franz.), s. Prärien …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Prairie — (frz.), s. Prärie …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Prairie — (prerih), heißt in Nordamerika eine große Grasebene …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Prairie — Très rare en France, le nom est surtout porté au Québec. Il renvoie à un toponyme fréquent, dont le sens est très clair …   Noms de famille

  • prairie — [n] grassland grassy field, meadow, pasturage, pasture, plain, savanna, steppe, veldt; concept 509 …   New thesaurus

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”