From Middle English falow, from Old English fealh (“fallow land”), from Proto-Germanic *falgō (compare Saterland Frisian falge, Dutch valg, German Felge), from Proto-Indo-European *polḱéh₂ (“arable land”) (compare Gaulish olca, Russian полоса́ (polosá)).
- (agriculture, uncountable) Ground ploughed and harrowed but left unseeded for one year.
- (agriculture, uncountable) Uncultivated land.
- The ploughing or tilling of land, without sowing it for a season.
- By a complete summer fallow, land is rendered tender and mellow. The fallow gives it a better tilth than can be given by a fallow crop.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
- (of agricultural land) Ploughed but left unseeded for more than one planting season.
- (of agricultural land) Left unworked and uncropped for some amount of time.
- (figuratively) Inactive; undeveloped.
a fallow period in one's career
From Middle English falowen, falwen, from Old English fealgian (“to fallow; break up land”), from Proto-Germanic *falgōną (“to fallow”). Cognate with Dutch valgen (“to plow lightly; fallow”), German Low German falgen (“to till; dig a hole”).
From Middle English falwe, from Old English fealu, from Proto-Germanic *falwaz (compare West Frisian feal, Dutch vaal, German falb, fahl), from Proto-Indo-European *polwos (compare Lithuanian pal̃vas (“sallow, wan”), Russian половый (polovyj, “wan, light yellow”), Serbo-Croatian plâv (“blond, blue”), Ancient Greek πολιός (poliós, “grey”)), from Proto-Indo-European *pel- (“pale”).
- “fallow” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2018.