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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
lawn mower
▪ A lawn mower droned a few houses down.
▪ At 95 decibels, about the sound level of a lawn mower, workers are allowed four hours' exposure.
▪ His dad can stand her for about five minutes, then he goes out and starts up the lawn mower.
▪ I even bought a lawn mower.
▪ I found it thus: I had never ridden a lawn mower before.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Lawn mower

Lawn \Lawn\ (l[add]n), n. [OE. laund, launde, F. lande heath, moor; of Celtic origin; cf. W. llan an open, clear place, llawnt a smooth rising hill, lawn, Armor. lann or lan territory, country, lann a prickly plant, pl. lannou heath, moor.]

  1. An open space between woods.

    ``Orchard lawns and bowery hollows.''

  2. Ground (generally in front of or around a house) covered with grass kept closely mown.

    Lawn mower, a machine for clipping the short grass of lawns.

    Lawn tennis, a variety of the game of tennis, played in the open air, sometimes upon a lawn, instead of in a tennis court. See Tennis.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
lawn mower

also lawn-mower, 1853 as a type of machine to cut grass, from lawn (n.1) + mower.

lawn mower

alt. 1 Any form of machine, having rotating blades, used to cut grass. 2 A person who mows lawns using a lawnmower. n. 1 Any form of machine, having rotating blades, used to cut grass. 2 A person who mows lawns using a lawnmower.

lawn mower

n. garden tool for mowing grass on lawns [syn: mower]

Lawn mower

A lawn mower (mower, etc.) is a machine utilizing one or more revolving blades to cut a grass surface to an even height. The height of the cut grass may be fixed by the design of the mower, but generally is adjustable by the operator, typically by a single master lever, or by a lever or nut and bolt on each of the machine's wheels. The blades may be powered by muscle, with wheels mechanically connected to the cutting blades so that when the mower is pushed forward, the blades spin, or the machine may have a battery-powered or plug-in electric motor. The most common power source for lawn mowers is a small (typically one cylinder) internal combustion engine, particularly for larger, self-propelled mowers. Smaller mowers often lack any form of propulsion, requiring human power to move over a surface; "walk-behind" mowers are self-propelled, requiring a human only to walk behind and guide them. Larger lawn mowers are usually either self-propelled "walk-behind" types, or more often, are "ride-on" mowers, equipped so the operator can ride on the mower and control it. A robotic lawn mower ("lawn-mowing bot", "mowbot", etc.) is designed to operate either entirely on its own, or less commonly by an operator by remote control.

Many lawn mowers include other functions such as mulching the cut grass or collecting their grass clippings in a removable bag or bin.

Two main styles of blades are used in lawn mowers. Lawn mowers employing a single blade that rotates about a single vertical axis are known as rotary mowers, while those employing a cutting bar and multiple blade assembly that rotates about a single horizontal axis are known as cylinder or reel mowers (although in some versions, the cutting bar is the only blade, and the rotating assembly consists of flat metal pieces which force the blades of grass against the sharp cutting bar).

There are several types of mowers, each suited to a particular scale and purpose. The smallest types, unpowered push mowers, are suitable for small residential lawns and gardens. Electrical or piston engine-powered push-mowers are used for larger residential lawns (although there is some overlap). Riding mowers, which sometimes resemble small tractors, are larger than push mowers and are suitable for large lawns, although commercial riding lawn mowers (such as zero-turn mowers) can be "stand-on" types, and often bear little resemblance to residential lawn tractors, being designed to mow large areas at high speed in the shortest time possible. The largest multi-gang (multi-blade) mowers are mounted on tractors and are designed for large expanses of grass such as golf courses and municipal parks, although they are ill-suited for complex terrain requiring maneuverability.

A transition from traditional hand-guided or ride-on mowers to automatic electric mowers is beginning to take place in some regions, with the growth in robotic lawn mower sales of 2012 being 15 times the growth in sales of the traditional styles. At current rates of growth automated lawn mowers may soon outsell traditional mowers in those regions.