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[fahr-ming] /ˈfɑr mɪŋ/
the business of operating a farm.
the practice of letting or leasing taxes, revenue, etc., for collection.
1545-55; farm + -ing1
Related forms
self-farming, noun
unfarming, adjective


[fahrm] /fɑrm/
a tract of land, usually with a house, barn, silo, etc., on which crops and often livestock are raised for livelihood.
land or water devoted to the raising of animals, fish, plants, etc.:
a pig farm; an oyster farm; a tree farm.
a similar, usually commercial, site where a product is manufactured or cultivated:
a cheese farm; a honey farm.
the system, method, or act of collecting revenue by leasing a territory in districts.
a country or district leased for the collection of revenue.
a fixed yearly amount accepted from a person in view of local or district taxes that he or she is authorized to collect.
a tract of land on which an industrial function is carried out, as the drilling or storage of oil or the generation of electricity by solar power.
English History.
  1. the rent or income from leased property.
  2. the condition of being leased at a fixed rent; possession under lease; a lease.
Also called farm team, farm club. Chiefly Baseball. a team in a minor league that is owned by or affiliated with a major-league team, for training or keeping players until ready or needed.
Obsolete. a fixed yearly amount payable in the form of rent, taxes, or the like.
verb (used with object)
to cultivate (land).
to take the proceeds or profits of (a tax, undertaking, etc.) on paying a fixed sum.
to let or lease (taxes, revenues, an enterprise, etc.) to another for a fixed sum or a percentage (often followed by out).
to let or lease the labor or services of (a person) for hire.
to contract for the maintenance of (a person, institution, etc.):
a county that farms its poor.
verb (used without object)
to cultivate the soil; operate a farm.
Verb phrases
farm out,
  1. to assign (work, privileges, or the like) to another by financial agreement; subcontract; lease:
    The busy shipyard farmed out two construction jobs to a smaller yard.
  2. to assign the care of (a child or dependent person) to another:
    She farms her elderly aunt out to a retired nurse during the workweek.
  3. Chiefly Baseball. to assign (a player) to a farm.
  4. to exhaust (farmland) by overcropping.
  5. to drill (oil or gas wells), especially by subcontract on land owned or leased by another.
buy the farm, Slang. to die or be killed.
1250-1300; Middle English ferme lease, rented land, rent < Anglo-French, Old French < Vulgar Latin *ferma, derivative of *fermāre, for Latin firmāre to make firm, confirm. See firm1
Related forms
farmable, adjective
minifarm, noun
nonfarm, adjective
profarm, adjective
superfarm, noun
unfarmable, adjective
unfarmed, adjective
well-farmed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for farming
  • The agriculture sector continued to be affected by the lack of suitable land for farming and the destruction of crops.
  • She says there should be more research on the ethical implications of habitat destruction and farming on animals.
  • Come explore the connection between farming and agriculture with our community culture and life.
  • Cover crops are the yellow traffic light of farming, keeping the land active while it's not in full agricultural production.
  • Plus, growers attentive and conscientious enough to dry-farm often follow other sustainable farming practices.
  • Collectively you came up with plans beyond what we'd thought possible for urban farming.
  • Take a tractor-tram tour up through the vineyards for a close-up look at biodynamic farming.
  • After all, we're not in the farming business, exactly.
  • Sustainable farming can produce high yields while protecting the natural resources upon which it depends.
  • The lake level later rose again, and farming settlements were established along the shores.
British Dictionary definitions for farming


  1. the business, art, or skill of agriculture
  2. (as modifier): farming methods


  1. a tract of land, usually with house and buildings, cultivated as a unit or used to rear livestock
  2. (as modifier): farm produce
  3. (in combination): farmland
a unit of land or water devoted to the growing or rearing of some particular type of vegetable, fruit, animal, or fish: a fish farm
an installation for storage
a district of which one or more taxes are leased
  1. a fixed sum paid by an individual or group for the right of collecting and retaining taxes, rents, etc
  2. a fixed sum paid regularly by a town, county, etc, in lieu of taxes
  3. the leasing of a source of revenue to an individual or group
  4. a fixed tax, rent, etc, paid regularly
  1. to cultivate (land)
  2. to rear (stock, etc) on a farm
(intransitive) to engage in agricultural work, esp as a way of life
(transitive) to look after a child for a fixed sum
  1. to collect the moneys due and retain the profits from (a tax district, business, etc) for a specified period on payment of a sum or sums
  2. to operate (a franchise) under similar conditions
See also farm out
Derived Forms
farmable, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French ferme rented land, ultimately from Latin firmāre to settle
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 farming

1590s, "action of farming out," verbal noun from farm (v.). Meaning "husbandry" attested by 1733.



c.1300, "fixed payment (usually in exchange for taxes collected, etc.), fixed rent," from Old French ferme "rent, lease," from Medieval Latin firma "fixed payment," from Latin firmare "to fix, settle, confirm, strengthen," from firmus "firm" (see firm (adj.)).

Sense of "tract of leased land" is first recorded early 14c.; that of "cultivated land" (leased or not) is 1520s. Phrase buy the farm "die in battle," is at least from World War II, perhaps a cynical reference to the draftee's dream of getting out of the war and going home, in many cases to a peaceful farmstead. But fetch the farm is prisoner slang from at least 1879 for "get sent to the infirmary," with reference to the better diet and lighter duties there.


mid-15c., "to rent (land)," from Anglo-French fermer, from ferme (see farm (n.)). The agricultural sense is from 1719. Original sense is retained in to farm out.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for farming

farm 1


To be killed in action; die in the armed services; buy the farm: Just about the whole company farmed that day

Related Terms

bet the farm, fat farm, funny farm, nuthouse

[1970s+ Army; fr buy the farm]

farm 2


A minor-league club used as a training ground by a major-league club: Columbus is a Yankee farm (1898+ Baseball)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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farming in Technology

(From Adelaide University, Australia) What the heads of a disk drive are said to do when they plow little furrows in the magnetic media during a head crash. Typically used as follows: "Oh no, the machine has just crashed; I hope the hard drive hasn't gone farming again."
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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farming in the Bible

(Matt. 22:5). Every Hebrew had a certain portion of land assigned to him as a possession (Num. 26:33-56). In Egypt the lands all belonged to the king, and the husbandmen were obliged to give him a fifth part of the produce; so in Palestine Jehovah was the sole possessor of the soil, and the people held it by direct tenure from him. By the enactment of Moses, the Hebrews paid a tithe of the produce to Jehovah, which was assigned to the priesthood. Military service when required was also to be rendered by every Hebrew at his own expense. The occuptaion of a husbandman was held in high honour (1 Sam. 11:5-7; 1 Kings 19:19; 2 Chr. 26:10). (See LAND LAWS Ø(n/a); TITHE.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with farming


In addition to the idiom beginning with farm also see: buy it (the farm)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for farming


the active production of useful plants or animals in ecosystems that have been created by people. Agriculture has often been conceptualized narrowly, in terms of specific combinations of activities and organisms-wet-rice production in Asia, wheat farming in Europe, cattle ranching in the Americas, and the like-but a more holistic perspective holds that humans are environmental engineers who disrupt terrestrial habitats in specific ways. Anthropogenic disruptions such as clearing vegetation or tilling the soil cause a variety of localized changes; common effects include an increase in the amount of light reaching ground level and a reduction in the competition among organisms. As a result, an area may produce more of the plants or animals that people desire for food, technology, medicine, and other uses.

Learn more about agriculture with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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