Definition: Farm

From New World Encyclopedia
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Etymology 1

From Middle English ferme, farme (rent, revenue, produce, factor, stewardship, meal, feast), influenced by Anglo-Norman ferme (rent, lease, farm), from Medieval Latin ferma, firma. There is debate as to whether Medieval Latin acquires this term from Old English feorm (rent, provision, supplies, feast), from Proto-Germanic *fermō, *firhuma- (means of living, subsistence), from Proto-Germanic *ferhwō (life force, body, being), from Proto-Indo-European *perkʷ- (life, force, strength, tree), or from Latin firmus (solid, secure), from Proto-Italic *fermos, from Proto-Indo-European *dʰer-mo-s (holding), from the root *dʰer- (to hold). If the former etymology is correct, the term is related to Old English feorh (life, spirit), Icelandic fjör (life, vitality, vigour, animation), Gothic 𐍆𐌰𐌹𐍂𐍈𐌿𐍃 or airƕus (the world). Compare also Old English feormehām (farm), feormere (purveyor). Cognate with Scots ferm (rent, farm).


farm (plural farms)

  1. A place where agricultural and similar activities take place, especially the growing of crops or the raising of livestock.
  2. A tract of land held on lease for the purpose of cultivation.
  3. (often in combination) A location used for an industrial purpose, having many similar structures.
    A wind farm provided power to the town.
  4. (computing) A group of coordinated servers.
    Very large server farms are responsible for a lot of the artificial intelligence computations these days.
  5. The body of farmers of public revenues.
  6. The condition of being let at a fixed rent; lease; a lease.

Derived terms

  • ant farm
  • bee farm
  • click farm
  • content farm
  • dairy farm
  • factory farm
  • farm animal
  • farm cat
  • farm girl
  • farm hand
  • farm house
  • farm land
  • farm market
  • farm owner
  • farm work
  • farm worker
  • fish farm
  • link farm
  • server farm
  • tree farm
  • wiki farm
  • wind farm
  • working farm

Etymology 2

From Middle English fermen, from Anglo-Norman fermer (to let out for a fixed payment, lease, rent), ultimately from the same Old English source as Etymology 1. Compare Old English feormian (to feed, supply with food, sustain).


farm (third-person singular simple present farms, present participle farming, simple past and past participle farmed)

  1. To work on a farm, especially in the growing and harvesting of crops.
  2. To devote (land) to farming.
  3. To grow (a particular crop).
  4. To give up to another, as an estate, a business, the revenue, etc., on condition of receiving in return a percentage of what it yields; to farm out.
    to farm the taxes
  5. (video games, chiefly online gaming) To engage in grinding (repetitive activity) in a particular area or against specific enemies for a particular drop or item.

Derived terms


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