1. The globe or planet which we inhabit; the world, in distinction from the sun, moon, or stars. Also, this world as the dwelling place of mortals, in distinction from the dwelling place of spirits.
That law preserves the earth a sphere
And guides the planets in their course. --S. Rogers.
In heaven, or earth, or under earth, in hell. --Milton.
2. The solid materials which make up the globe, in distinction from the air or water; the dry land.
God called the dry land earth. --Gen. i. 10.
He is pure air and fire, and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him. --Shak.
3. The softer inorganic matter composing part of the surface of the globe, in distinction from the firm rock; soil of all kinds, including gravel, clay, loam, and the like; sometimes, soil favorable to the growth of plants; the visible surface of the globe; the ground; as, loose earth; rich earth.
Give him a little earth for charity. --Shak.
4. A part of this globe; a region; a country; land.
Would I had never trod this English earth. --Shak.
5. Worldly things, as opposed to spiritual things; the pursuits, interests, and allurements of this life.
Our weary souls by earth beguiled. --Keble.
6. The people on the globe.
The whole earth was of one language. --Gen. xi. 1.
7. Chem. (a) Any earthy-looking metallic oxide, as alumina, glucina, zirconia, yttria, and thoria. (b) A similar oxide, having a slight alkaline reaction, as lime, magnesia, strontia, baryta.
8. A hole in the ground, where an animal hides himself; as, the earth of a fox.
They [ferrets] course the poor conies out of their earths. --Holland.
9. Elec. The connection of any part an electric conductor with the ground; specif., the connection of a telegraph line with the ground through a fault or otherwise.
Note: ☞ When the resistance of the earth connection is low it is termed a good earth.
Note: ☞ Earth is used either adjectively or in combination to form compound words; as, earth apple or earth-apple; earth metal or earth-metal; earth closet or earth-closet.
Adamic earth, Bitter earth, Bog earth, Chian earth, etc. See under Adamic, Bitter, etc.
Alkaline earths. See under Alkaline.
Earth apple. Bot. (a) A potato. (b) A cucumber.
Earth auger, a form of auger for boring into the ground; -- called also earth borer.
Earth bath, a bath taken by immersing the naked body in earth for healing purposes.
Earth battery Physics, a voltaic battery the elements of which are buried in the earth to be acted on by its moisture.
Earth chestnut, the pignut.
Earth closet, a privy or commode provided with dry earth or a similar substance for covering and deodorizing the fæcal discharges.
Earth dog Zoöl., a dog that will dig in the earth, or enter holes of foxes, etc.
Earth hog, Earth pig Zoöl., the aard-vark.
Earth hunger, an intense desire to own land, or, in the case of nations, to extend their domain.
Earth light Astron., the light reflected by the earth, as upon the moon, and corresponding to moonlight; -- called also earth shine. --Sir J. Herschel.
Earth metal. See 1st Earth, 7. Chem.
Earth oil, petroleum.
Earth pillars or Earth pyramids Geol., high pillars or pyramids of earth, sometimes capped with a single stone, found in Switzerland. --Lyell.
Earth pitch Min., mineral tar, a kind of asphaltum.
Earth quadrant, a fourth of the earth's circumference.
Earth table Arch., the lowest course of stones visible in a building; the ground table.
On earth, an intensive expression, oftenest used in questions and exclamations; as, What on earth shall I do? Nothing on earth will satisfy him. [Colloq.]
1. Popularly: Herbage; the plants which constitute the food of cattle and other beasts; pasture.
2. Bot. An endogenous plant having simple leaves, a stem generally jointed and tubular, the husks or glumes in pairs, and the seed single.
Note: ☞ This definition includes wheat, rye, oats, barley, etc., and excludes clover and some other plants which are commonly called by the name of grass. The grasses form a numerous family of plants.
3. The season of fresh grass; spring. [Colloq.]
Two years old next grass. --Latham.
4. Metaphorically used for what is transitory.
Surely the people is grass. --Is. xl. 7.
Note: ☞ The following list includes most of the grasses of the United States of special interest, except cereals. Many of these terms will be found with definitions in the Vocabulary. See Illustrations in Appendix.
Barnyard grass, for hay. South. Panicum Grus-galli.
Bent, pasture and hay. Agrostis, several species.
Bermuda grass, pasture. South. Cynodon Dactylon.
Black bent. Same as Switch grass (below).
Blue bent, hay. North and West. Andropogon provincialis.
Blue grass, pasture. Poa compressa.
Blue joint, hay. Northwest. Aqropyrum glaucum.
Buffalo grass, grazing. Rocky Mts., etc. (a) Buchloë dectyloides. (b) Same as Grama grass (below).
Bunch grass, grazing. Far West. Eriocoma, Festuca, Stips, etc.
Chess, or Cheat, a weed. Bromus secalinus, etc.
Couch grass. Same as Quick grass (below).
Crab grass, (a) Hay, in South. A weed, in North. Panicum sanguinale. (b) Pasture and hay. South. Eleusine Indica.
Darnel (a) Bearded, a noxious weed. Lolium temulentum. (b) Common. Same as Rye grass (below).
Drop seed, fair for forage and hay. Muhlenbergia, several species.
English grass. Same as Redtop (below).
Fowl meadow grass. (a) Pasture and hay. Poa serotina. (b) Hay, on moist land. Gryceria nervata.
Gama grass, cut fodder. South. Tripsacum dactyloides.
Grama grass, grazing. West and Pacific slope. Bouteloua oligostachya, etc.
Great bunch grass, pasture and hay. Far West. Festuca scabrella.
Guinea grass, hay. South. Panicum jumentorum.
Herd's grass, in New England Timothy, in Pennsylvania and South Redtop.
Indian grass. Same as Wood grass (below).
Italian rye grass, forage and hay. Lolium Italicum.
Johnson grass, grazing and hay. South and Southwest. Sorghum Halepense.
Kentucky blue grass, pasture. Poa pratensis.
Lyme grass, coarse hay. South. Elymus, several species.
Manna grass, pasture and hay. Glyceria, several species.
Meadow fescue, pasture and hay. Festuca elatior.
Meadow foxtail, pasture, hay, lawn. North. Alopecurus pratensis.
Meadow grass, pasture, hay, lawn. Poa, several species.
Mesquite grass, or Muskit grass. Same as Grama grass (above).
Nimble Will, a kind of drop seed. Muhlenbergia diffsa.
Orchard grass, pasture and hay. Dactylis glomerata.
Porcupine grass, troublesome to sheep. Northwest. Stipa spartea.
Quaking grass, ornamental. Briza media and maxima.
Quitch, or Quick, grass, etc., a weed. Agropyrum repens.
Ray grass. Same as Rye grass (below).
Redtop, pasture and hay. Agrostis vulgaris.
Red-topped buffalo grass, forage. Northwest. Poa tenuifolia.
Reed canary grass, of slight value. Phalaris arundinacea.
Reed meadow grass, hay. North. Glyceria aquatica.
Ribbon grass, a striped leaved form of Reed canary grass.
Rye grass, pasture, hay. Lolium perenne, var.
Seneca grass, fragrant basket work, etc. North. Hierochloa borealis.
Sesame grass. Same as Gama grass (above).
Sheep's fescue, sheep pasture, native in Northern Europe and Asia. Festuca ovina.
Small reed grass, meadow pasture and hay. North. Deyeuxia Canadensis.
Spear grass, Same as Meadow grass (above).
Squirrel-tail grass, troublesome to animals. Seacoast and Northwest. Hordeum jubatum.
Switch grass, hay, cut young. Panicum virgatum.
Timothy, cut young, the best of hay. North. Phleum pratense.
Velvet grass, hay on poor soil. South. Holcus lanatus.
Vernal grass, pasture, hay, lawn. Anthoxanthum odoratum.
Wire grass, valuable in pastures. Poa compressa.
Wood grass, Indian grass, hay. Chrysopogon nutans.
Note: ☞ Many plants are popularly called grasses which are not true grasses botanically considered, such as black grass, goose grass, star grass, etc.
Black grass, a kind of small rush (Juncus Gerardi), growing in salt marshes, used for making salt hay.
Grass of the Andes, an oat grass, the Arrhenatherum avenaceum of Europe.-- Grass of Parnassus, a plant of the genus Parnassia growing in wet ground. The European species is Parnassia palustris; in the United States there are several species.
Grass bass Zool., the calico bass.
Grass bird, the dunlin.
Grass cloth, a cloth woven from the tough fibers of the grass-cloth plant.
Grass-cloth plant, a perennial herb of the Nettle family (Bœhmeria nivea syn. Urtica nivea), which grows in Sumatra, China, and Assam, whose inner bark has fine and strong fibers suited for textile purposes.
Grass finch. Zool. (a) A common American sparrow (Poöcætes gramineus); -- called also vesper sparrow and bay-winged bunting. (b) Any Australian finch, of the genus Poëphila, of which several species are known.
Grass lamb, a lamb suckled by a dam running on pasture land and giving rich milk.-- Grass land, land kept in grass and not tilled.
Grass moth Zool., one of many small moths of the genus Crambus, found in grass.
Grass oil, a fragrant essential volatile oil, obtained in India from grasses of the genus Andropogon, etc.; -- used in perfumery under the name of citronella, ginger grass oil, lemon grass oil, essence of verbena etc.
Grass owl Zool., a South African owl (Strix Capensis).
Grass parrakeet Zool., any of several species of Australian parrots, of the genus Euphemia; -- also applied to the zebra parrakeet.
Grass plover Zool., the upland or field plover.
Grass poly Bot., a species of willowwort (Lythrum Hyssopifolia). --Johnson.
Crass quit Zool., one of several tropical American finches of the genus Euetheia. The males have most of the head and chest black and often marked with yellow.
Grass snake. Zool. (a) The common English, or ringed, snake (Tropidonotus natrix). (b) The common green snake of the Northern United States. See Green snake, under Green.
Grass snipe Zool., the pectoral sandpiper (Tringa maculata); -- called also jacksnipe in America.
Grass spider Zool., a common spider (Agelena nævia), which spins flat webs on grass, conspicuous when covered with dew.
Grass sponge Zool., an inferior kind of commercial sponge from Florida and the Bahamas.
Grass table. Arch. See Earth table, under Earth.
Grass vetch Bot., a vetch (Lathyrus Nissolia), with narrow grasslike leaves.
Grass wrack Bot. eelgrass.
To bring to grass Mining., to raise, as ore, to the surface of the ground.
To put to grass, To put out to grass, to put out to graze a season, as cattle.