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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
prairie dog
▪ A whole succession of prairie branches was built to develop settlement and to tap the furthest reaches of the grain-growing areas.
▪ But insisting on her promise, he led her up the cliff, on to the prairie, and away.
▪ It therefore took a southerly route across the prairie provinces of the Dominion.
▪ Ten years after the last plowing, it was evident to Leopold that the reborn Curtis prairie was only a half-breed wilderness.
▪ The grasses that did thrive were not prairie species.
▪ Then a summer drought parched the land, turning green prairies a dusty yellow brown.
▪ Tree seedlings, Eurasian migrants, and farm weeds all thrived along with the replanted prairie species.
▪ When Dorothy stood in the doorway and looked around, she could see nothing but the great grey prairie on every side.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Gun \Gun\ (g[u^]n), n. [OE. gonne, gunne; of uncertain origin; cf. Ir., Gael., & LL. gunna, W. gum; possibly (like cannon) fr. L. canna reed, tube; or abbreviated fr. OF. mangonnel, E. mangonel, a machine for hurling stones.]

  1. A weapon which throws or propels a missile to a distance; any firearm or instrument for throwing projectiles, consisting of a tube or barrel closed at one end, in which the projectile is placed, with an explosive charge (such as guncotton or gunpowder) behind, which is ignited by various means. Pistols, rifles, carbines, muskets, and fowling pieces are smaller guns, for hand use, and are called small arms. Larger guns are called cannon, ordnance, fieldpieces, carronades, howitzers, etc. See these terms in the Vocabulary.

    As swift as a pellet out of a gunne When fire is in the powder runne.

    The word gun was in use in England for an engine to cast a thing from a man long before there was any gunpowder found out.

  2. (Mil.) A piece of heavy ordnance; in a restricted sense, a cannon.

  3. pl. (Naut.) Violent blasts of wind.

    Note: Guns are classified, according to their construction or manner of loading as rifled or smoothbore, breech-loading or muzzle-loading, cast or built-up guns; or according to their use, as field, mountain, prairie, seacoast, and siege guns.

    Armstrong gun, a wrought iron breech-loading cannon named after its English inventor, Sir William Armstrong.

    Big gun or Great gun, a piece of heavy ordnance; hence (Fig.), a person superior in any way; as, bring in the big guns to tackle the problem.

    Gun barrel, the barrel or tube of a gun.

    Gun carriage, the carriage on which a gun is mounted or moved.

    Gun cotton (Chem.), a general name for a series of explosive nitric ethers of cellulose, obtained by steeping cotton in nitric and sulphuric acids. Although there are formed substances containing nitric acid radicals, yet the results exactly resemble ordinary cotton in appearance. It burns without ash, with explosion if confined, but quietly and harmlessly if free and open, and in small quantity. Specifically, the lower nitrates of cellulose which are insoluble in ether and alcohol in distinction from the highest (pyroxylin) which is soluble. See Pyroxylin, and cf. Xyloidin. The gun cottons are used for blasting and somewhat in gunnery: for making celluloid when compounded with camphor; and the soluble variety (pyroxylin) for making collodion. See Celluloid, and Collodion. Gun cotton is frequenty but improperly called nitrocellulose. It is not a nitro compound, but an ester of nitric acid.

    Gun deck. See under Deck.

    Gun fire, the time at which the morning or the evening gun is fired.

    Gun metal, a bronze, ordinarily composed of nine parts of copper and one of tin, used for cannon, etc. The name is also given to certain strong mixtures of cast iron.

    Gun port (Naut.), an opening in a ship through which a cannon's muzzle is run out for firing.

    Gun tackle (Naut.), the blocks and pulleys affixed to the side of a ship, by which a gun carriage is run to and from the gun port.

    Gun tackle purchase (Naut.), a tackle composed of two single blocks and a fall.

    Krupp gun, a wrought steel breech-loading cannon, named after its German inventor, Herr Krupp.

    Machine gun, a breech-loading gun or a group of such guns, mounted on a carriage or other holder, and having a reservoir containing cartridges which are loaded into the gun or guns and fired in rapid succession. In earlier models, such as the Gatling gun, the cartridges were loaded by machinery operated by turning a crank. In modern versions the loading of cartidges is accomplished by levers operated by the recoil of the explosion driving the bullet, or by the pressure of gas within the barrel. Several hundred shots can be fired in a minute by such weapons, with accurate aim. The Gatling gun, Gardner gun, Hotchkiss gun, and Nordenfelt gun, named for their inventors, and the French mitrailleuse, are machine guns.

    To blow great guns (Naut.), to blow a gale. See Gun, n., 3.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

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."


n. An extensive area of relatively flat grassland with few, if any, trees, especially in North America.


n. a treeless grassy plain

Prairie -- U.S. County in Montana
Population (2000): 1199
Housing Units (2000): 718
Land area (2000): 1736.550909 sq. miles (4497.646015 sq. km)
Water area (2000): 6.004578 sq. miles (15.551784 sq. km)
Total area (2000): 1742.555487 sq. miles (4513.197799 sq. km)
Located within: Montana (MT), FIPS 30
Location: 46.887225 N, 105.368636 W
Prairie, MT
Prairie County
Prairie County, MT
Prairie -- U.S. County in Arkansas
Population (2000): 9539
Housing Units (2000): 4790
Land area (2000): 645.934412 sq. miles (1672.962375 sq. km)
Water area (2000): 29.826888 sq. miles (77.251283 sq. km)
Total area (2000): 675.761300 sq. miles (1750.213658 sq. km)
Located within: Arkansas (AR), FIPS 05
Location: 34.807983 N, 91.534077 W
Prairie, AR
Prairie County
Prairie County, AR

Prairies are ecosystems considered part of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome by ecologists, based on similar temperate climates, moderate rainfall, and a composition of grasses, herbs, and shrubs, rather than trees, as the dominant vegetation type. Temperate grassland regions include the Pampas of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay as well as the steppes of Eurasia. Lands typically referred to as "prairie" tend to be in North America. The term encompasses the area referred to as the Interior Lowlands of Canada, the United States, and Mexico, which includes all of the Great Plains as well as the wetter, somewhat hillier land to the east. In the U.S., the area is constituted by most or all of the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma, and sizable parts of the states of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, and western and southern Minnesota. The Central Valley of California is also a prairie. The Canadian Prairies occupy vast areas of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.

Prairie (disambiguation)

A prairie is a type of temperate grassland.

Prairie may also refer to:

Usage examples of "prairie".

A horse down with the aftosa need a sight of heroin to ease his pain and maybe some of that heroin take off across the lonesome prairie and whinny in Washington Square.

Now, however, the amaranth fields had caused them to see that the prairie was also useful land, which they needed to control.

For years, whenever she and Flash moved in anyplace new, in a reflex superstition by now like sprinkling salt and water in every room, her thoughts would go to Prairie, and to where, in each new arrangement, she would sleep sometimes the baby, sometimes a girl she was free to imagine.

His work was not legerdemain, skilful manipulation, but recreation, and he found the aureate earth in the forests, on the prairies, and in documents contemporary to his theme.

He followed at a discreet distance as Syra, Roth and Beel hiked across open prairie land with backpacks on their backs.

In fact, the fields around the spaceport housed a dozen prairie fields of gila grass, bleet weed, and curdleberries.

They pounded over the prairie, Sophie clinging to the iron armrest, wondering if they would arrive before the buckboard disintegrated and the horse collapsed.

He was a very small gray and black German Shepherd with large ears and had an unusual characteristic: when the other dogs were all sitting at attention, little Bunkie usually sat up with his front legs off the ground like a prairie dog, so he would be as tall as the others.

The place attracted me like a magnet and I wished that I were writing of it and not Centennial, which at this point seemed pretty ordinary to me, but as I drove south, it occurred to me that I must be following the old Skimmerhorn Trail, and when I came to the low bluffs that marked the delineation between the river bottom and the prairie and I was able to look down into Centennial and its paltry railroad, with cottonwoods outlining the south side of the Platte, I had a suspicion that perhaps it too had had its moments of historic significance.

Hamilton was Acting Prime Minister on May 2, when the devaluation was announced, and personally telephoned most of the editors of Prairie newspapers, hinting that the main purpose of the move had been to raise the external price of Canadian wheat.

The Fiscal Sins of a Prairie Prime Minister 289 As to the effect of devaluation, Fleming gave an appraisal in the House of Commons on June 17, 1958, which pointed out that a reduced value of the dollar would help some Canadians, and harm others.

Then Tintop gave Devers positive orders not to content himself with telling people to do thus and so, but to see that the orders were obeyed, and Devers then took his pipe and his blankets and ostentatiously spent hours of the afternoon out on the open prairie, a monument to the severity and exactions of his colonel.

And still the horses, all of them, got far out on the foot-hills, and Tintop ordered him a day or two later, when on Scalp Creek, not to let his herd get more than half a mile away from the troop fires, as they had no tents, and then Devers had his herd-guards build fires and boil coffee far out on the prairie, and claimed that those were his troop fires, and therefore his herd was within reasonable distance of them.

When the level prairie merged into low rolling hills, dotted with fescue and feather grass and red with the richness of iron ore -- the red ochre making it hallowed ground -- Brun knew the salt marsh was not far beyond.

Mang tore off across the prairie toward the monsters and put them in firmer perspective: even mounted, the men scarcely reached to the bellies of the monsters.