meadow (n.)

Old English mædwe "low, level tract of land under grass; pasture," originally "land covered in grass which is mown for hay;" oblique case of mæd "meadow, pasture," from Proto-Germanic *medwo (source also of Old Frisian mede, Dutch made, German Matte "meadow," Old English mæþ "harvest, crop"), from PIE *metwa- "a mown field," from root *me- (4) "to cut down grass or grain." Meadow-grass is from late 13c.

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meadowy (adj.)

"pertaining to, resembling, or consisting of meadow," 1590s, from meadow + -y (2).

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meadowlark (n.)

also meadow-lark, 1775 as a name for a type of of New World grassland songbird, from meadow + lark (n.), but it has no relationship to the Old World lark.

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*me- (4)

*mē-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to cut down grass or grain." It forms all or part of: aftermath; math (n.2) "a mowing;" mead (n.2) "meadow;" meadow; mow (v.).

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek (poetic) amao, Latin metere "to reap, mow, crop;" Italian mietere, Old Irish meithleorai "reapers," Welsh medi; Old English mawan "to mow," mæd "meadow."

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shadow (n.)
Old English sceadwe, sceaduwe "the effect of interception of sunlight, dark image cast by someone or something when interposed between an object and a source of light," oblique cases ("to the," "from the," "of the," "in the") of sceadu (see shade (n.)). Shadow is to shade (n.) as meadow is to mead (n.2). Similar formation in Old Saxon skado, Middle Dutch schaeduwe, Dutch schaduw, Old High German scato, German schatten, Gothic skadus "shadow, shade."

From mid-13c. as "darkened area created by shadows, shade." From early 13c. in sense "anything unreal;" mid-14c. as "a ghost;" late 14c. as "a foreshadowing, prefiguration." Meaning "imitation, copy" is from 1690s. Sense of "the faintest trace" is from 1580s; that of "a spy who follows" is from 1859.

As a designation of members of an opposition party chosen as counterparts of the government in power, it is recorded from 1906. Shadow of Death (c. 1200) translates Vulgate umbra mortis (Psalms xxiii.4, etc.), which itself translates Greek skia thanatou, perhaps a mistranslation of a Hebrew word for "intense darkness." In "Beowulf," Grendel is a sceadugenga, a shadow-goer, and another word for "darkness" is sceaduhelm. To be afraid of one's (own) shadow "be very timorous" is from 1580s.
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mead (n.2)

"meadow," Middle English mede, from Old English mæd, Anglian and Kentish med "meadow, pasture," from Proto-Germanic *medwo (source also of Old Frisian mede, Dutch made, German Matte "meadow," Old English mæþ "harvest, crop"), from PIE *metwa- "a mown field," from root *me- (4) "to cut down grass or grain." Now only archaic or poetic.

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Prado (n.)

public park and promenade in Madrid, 1640s, Spanish, from Latin pratum "meadow" (see prairie). Compare Prater, name of a large park in Vienna, German, from Italian prato "meadow." French preau "little meadow" (formerly praël), Italian pratello are from Vulgar Latin *pratellum, diminutive of pratum.

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place in Surrey where the Magna Charta was signed, Middle English Ronimede, literally "meadow on the council island," from Old English runieg "council island," from run in sense of "council" (see rune) + ieg "island" (see island) + mede "meadow" (see mead (n.2)).

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holm (n.)

"small island in a river; river meadow," late Old English, from Old Norse holmr "small island," especially in a river or bay, or cognate Old Danish hulm, from Proto-Germanic *hul-maz, from PIE root *kel- (2) "to be prominent; hill." Obsolete, but preserved in place names, where it has various senses derived from the basic one of "island:" "'raised ground in marsh, enclosure of marginal land, land in a river-bend, river meadow, promontory'" ["Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names"]. Cognate Old English holm (only attested in poetic language) meant "sea, ocean, wave."

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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," a word of uncertain origin; de Vaan suggests PIE *prh-to- "allotted."

The word existed in early Middle English as prayere, praiere, but was lost and reborrowed in 18c. from Hennepin and other French writers to describe the fertile but treeless parts of the American plains.

These are the gardens of the Desert, these
The unshorn fields, boundless and beautiful,
For which the speech of England has no name—
The Prairies. 
[William Cullen Bryant, from "The Prairies"]

Prairie dog for the burrowing rodent of the American grasslands, is attested from 1774, so called for its cry, which is like the barking of a dog; prairie schooner "covered wagon used by emigrants in freighting on the prairies and Great Plains before the construction of transcontinental railroads" is from 1841. Illinois has been the Prairie State at least since 1861. In Latin, Neptunia prata was poetic for "the sea."

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