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prairie

[prair-ee] /ˈprɛər i/
noun
1.
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.
2.
a tract of grassland; meadow.
3.
(in Florida) a low, sandy tract of grassland often covered with water.
4.
Southern U.S. wet grassland; marsh.
5.
(initial capital letter) a steam locomotive having a two-wheeled front truck, six driving wheels, and a two-wheeled rear truck.
Origin
1675-1685
1675-85; < French: meadow < Vulgar Latin *prātāria, equivalent to Latin prāt(um) meadow + -āria, feminine of -ārius -ary
Related forms
prairielike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for prairielike

prairie

/ˈprɛərɪ/
noun
1.
(often pl) a treeless grassy plain of the central US and S Canada Compare pampas, steppe, savanna
Word Origin
C18: from French, from Old French praierie, from Latin prātum meadow
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 prairielike

prairie

n.

tract of level or undulating grassland in North America, by 1773, from French prairie "meadow, grassland," from Old French praerie "meadow, pastureland" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *prataria, from Latin pratum "meadow," originally "a hollow." The word existed in Middle English 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. Illinois has been the Prairie State since at least 1861. In Latin, Neptunia prata was poetic for "the sea."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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prairielike in Science
prairie
  (prâr'ē)   
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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