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fallow1

[fal-oh] /ˈfæl oʊ/
adjective
1.
(of land) plowed and left unseeded for a season or more; uncultivated.
2.
not in use; inactive:
My creative energies have lain fallow this year.
noun
3.
land that has undergone plowing and harrowing and has been left unseeded for one or more growing seasons.
verb (used with object)
4.
to make (land) fallow for agricultural purposes.
Origin
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English falwe; compare Old English fealga, plural of *fealh, as gloss of Medieval Latin occas harrows
Related forms
fallowness, noun
unfallowed, adjective

fallow2

[fal-oh] /ˈfæl oʊ/
adjective
1.
pale-yellow; light-brown; dun.
Origin
before 1000; Middle English fal(o)we, Old English fealu; cognate with German falb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for fallow
  • And think of what we'd have to do to an area to grow trees on fallow land where there are no trees now.
  • Because as these banana lands go fallow, you can't grow new bananas in them once they're stricken by disease.
  • The field in the foreground has a wild uncultivated appearance as if it had been allowed to remain fallow the preceding summer.
  • Lost games will mean lost wages as stadiums sit idle and workers lie fallow.
  • Herds of red and fallow deer are among the residents.
  • Management could put the project on hold and let its field lie fallow.
  • The symptoms would be high unemployment, fallow productive capacity and surfeit of commodities.
  • There are few swathes of farmland lying fallow and much of the world's available fresh water is already being used.
  • Elsewhere, some growers who have not been able to switch crops are leaving their cornfields fallow.
  • Every seventh year, they will let their land lie fallow.
British Dictionary definitions for fallow

fallow1

/ˈfæləʊ/
adjective
1.
(of land) left unseeded after being ploughed and harrowed to regain fertility for a crop
2.
(of an idea, state of mind, etc) undeveloped or inactive, but potentially useful
noun
3.
land treated in this way
verb
4.
(transitive) to leave (land) unseeded after ploughing and harrowing it
Derived Forms
fallowness, noun
Word Origin
Old English fealga; related to Greek polos ploughed field

fallow2

/ˈfæləʊ/
adjective
1.
of a light yellowish-brown colour
Word Origin
Old English fealu; related to Old Norse fölr, Old Saxon, Old High German falo, Latin pallidus Greek polios grey
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fallow
n.

c.1300, from Old English fealh "fallow land," from Proto-Germanic *falgo (cf. Old High German felga "harrow," German Felge "plowed-up fallow land," East Frisian falge "fallow," falgen "to break up ground"), perhaps from a derivation of PIE root *pel- "to turn," assimilated in English to fallow (adj.) because of the color of plowed earth. Originally "plowed land," then "land plowed but not planted" (1520s). As an adjective, from late 14c.

adj.

"pale yellow, brownish yellow," Old English fealu "reddish yellow, yellowish-brown, tawny, dusk-colored," from Proto-Germanic *falwa- (cf. Old Saxon falu, Old Norse fölr, Middle Dutch valu, Dutch vaal, Old High German falo, German falb), from PIE *pal-wo- "dark-colored, gray" (cf. Old Church Slavonic plavu, Lithuanian palvas "sallow;" Greek polios, Sanskrit palitah, Welsh llwyd "gray;" Latin pallere "to be pale"), from root *pal- (see pallor). It also forms the root of words for "pigeon" in Greek (peleia), Latin (palumbes), and Old Prussian (poalis).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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