an extensive, level or slightly undulating, mostly treeless tract of land in the Mississippi valley, characterized by a highly fertile soil and originally covered with coarse grasses, and merging into drier plateaus in the west. Compare pampas, savanna, steppe.
a tract of grassland; meadow.
(in Florida) a low, sandy tract of grassland often covered with water.
Southern U.S.wet grassland; marsh.
(initial capital letter) a steam locomotive having a two-wheeled front truck, six driving wheels, and a two-wheeled rear truck.
tract of level or undulating grassland in N.Amer., 1773, from Fr. prairie, from O.Fr. praerie (12c.), from V.L. *prataria, from L. pratum "meadow," originally "a hollow." The word existed in M.E. as prayere, but was lost and reborrowed to describe the American plains. Prairie dog is attested from 1774;
prairie schooner "immigrant's wagon" is from 1841.