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.

1675–85; < French: meadow < Vulgar Latin *prātāria, equivalent to Latin prāt(um) meadow + -āria, feminine of -ārius -ary

prairielike, adjective Unabridged

Prairie, The

a historical novel (1827) by James Fenimore Cooper. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
prairie (ˈprɛərɪ)
(often plural) pampas steppe Compare savanna a treeless grassy plain of the central US and S Canada
[C18: from French, from Old French praierie, from Latin prātum meadow]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
prairie   (prâr'ē)  Pronunciation Key 
An extensive area of flat or rolling grassland, especially the large plain of central North America.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
It's impossible to run out into the academic prairie all by yourself.
In this lesson, students learn about the conflicts relating to humans and
  wildlife in prairie habitats.
State governors fail to back a federal program to preserve and protect native
The landscape is slowly becoming more open and green, the prairie reappearing
  from beneath the plant.
Images for prairie
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