Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for January 6, 2020 is:

agrarian • uh-GRAIR-ee-un  • adjective

1 : of or relating to fields or lands or their tenure

2 a : of, relating to, or characteristic of farmers or their way of life

b : organized or designed to promote agricultural interests


“Young children were encouraged to take part in adult activities as soon as they were able…. In agrarian societies they had always been expected to help out at home and in the fields from an early age.” — The Economist, 5 Jan. 2019

“The Village of Dunchurch is no exception…. Even as the region diversifies from its agricultural base and develops with extravagant cottages dotting the lakes, the village’s agrarian roots are proudly celebrated during the course of this annual festivity.” — The Parry Sound North Star, 7 Aug. 2019

Did you know?

Today, an acre is generally considered to be a unit of land measuring 43,560 square feet (4,047 square meters). Before that standard was set, it’s believed that an acre represented a rougher measurement: the amount of land that could be plowed in one day with a yoke of oxen. Both acre and agrarian derive from the Latin noun ager and the Greek noun agrós, meaning “piece of land, field.” (You can probably guess that agriculture is another descendant.) Agrarian, first used in English in the 16th century, describes things pertaining to the cultivation of fields, as well as the farmers who cultivate them.

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