See also: Grass

English edit


Etymology edit

From Middle English gras, from Old English græs, from Proto-Germanic *grasą (grass), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰreh₁- (to grow).

The "informer" sense is probably a shortening of grasshopper (police officer, informant), rhyming slang for copper (police officer) or shopper (informant); the exact sequence of derivation is unclear.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

grass (countable and uncountable, plural grasses)

  1. (countable, uncountable) Any plant of the family Poaceae, characterized by leaves that arise from nodes in the stem and leaf bases that wrap around the stem, especially those grown as ground cover rather than for grain.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:grass
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], →OCLC, Psalms 90:3–6:
      Thou turnest man to destruction: and sayest, Returne yee children of men. / For a thousand yeeres in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past: and as a watch in the night. / Thou carriest them away as with a flood, they are as a sleepe: in the morning they are like grasse which groweth vp. / In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth vp: in the euening it is cut downe, and withereth.
    • 1913, Joseph C[rosby] Lincoln, chapter I, in Mr. Pratt’s Patients, New York, N.Y., London: D[aniel] Appleton and Company, →OCLC:
      'Twas early June, the new grass was flourishing everywheres, the posies in the yard—peonies and such—in full bloom, the sun was shining, and the water of the bay was blue, with light green streaks where the shoal showed.
  2. (countable) Various plants not in family Poaceae that resemble grasses.
  3. (uncountable) A lawn.
  4. (uncountable, slang) Marijuana.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:marijuana
    • 1970, Paul McCartney (lyrics and music), “Get Back”, in Let It Be, performed by The Beatles:
      Jojo left his home in Tucson, Arizona / For some California grass
  5. (countable, Britain, slang) An informer, police informer; one who betrays a group (of criminals, etc) to the authorities.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:informant
    What just happened must remain secret. Don't be a grass.
    • 2007, Paul Knight, Coding of a Concrete Animal, page 215:
      He was a grass and an arse lick and he didn't do it for him, he did it for his brother, because if Vaughan had hit him especially with his mallet, Mark was the kind of lowlife that would have pressed charges and then that's a whole different problem.
    • 2023 June 29, Metro, London, page 4, column 1:
      Another claimed a £10,000 bounty was put on his head as he was rumoured to be a “grass”.
  6. (uncountable, physics) Sharp, closely spaced discontinuities in the trace of a cathode-ray tube, produced by random interference.
  7. (uncountable, slang) Noise on an A-scope or similar type of radar display.
    • 1960, Radarman 3 & 2, volume 1, United States. Bureau of Naval Personnel, page 49:
      The problem in radar detection is to have a signal to noise ratio that will allow the echo to be seen through the grass on the radar screen. The use of a long pulse allows a greater average signal strength to be returned in the target echoes.
    • 1963, Analysis of Weapons, page 61:
      Some of the scattered waves can be picked up by the receiver and may show up as "grass" on the radar presentation. Weather radars make use of this phenomenon to chart the progress of storms.
  8. The season of fresh grass; spring or summer.
    Synonyms: breakup, spring, springtime
  9. (obsolete, figurative) That which is transitory.
    Synonym: ephemera
  10. (countable, folk etymology) Asparagus; "sparrowgrass".
  11. (mining) The surface of a mine.

Derived terms edit

Descendants edit

  • Tok Pisin: gras, garas
  • Fiji Hindi: giraas

Translations edit

See also edit

Verb edit

grass (third-person singular simple present grasses, present participle grassing, simple past and past participle grassed)

  1. (transitive) To lay out on the grass; to knock down (an opponent etc.).
    Synonyms: flatten, floor, lay low, lay out, knock down, knock out, knock over, strike down
    • 1846 October 1 – 1848 April 1, Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son, London: Bradbury and Evans, [], published 1848, →OCLC:
      The Chicken himself attributed this punishment to his having had the misfortune to get into Chancery early in the proceedings, when he was severely fibbed by the Larkey one, and heavily grassed.
    • 1893, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Naval Treaty, Norton, published 2005, page 709:
      He flew at me with his knife, and I had to grass him twice, and got a cut over the knuckles, before I had the upper hand of him.
  2. (transitive or intransitive, slang) To act as a grass or informer, to betray; to report on (criminals etc) to the authorities.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:rat out
    • 1962 [1959], William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch, New York: Grove Press, page 2:
      "Grassed on me he did," I said morosely. (Note: Grass is English thief slang for inform.)[sic]
    • 2004, David Nobbs, Sex and Other Changes[1], page 95:
      "I'm dressed as a woman, but I am still technically a man. I believe that to comply with the law of the land I ought to continue to use the Gents', but in order not to look out place I intend to use the Ladies' from now on. I trust none of you will grass on me..."
  3. (transitive) To cover with grass or with turf.
  4. (transitive) To feed with grass.
  5. (transitive) To expose, as flax, on the grass for bleaching, etc.
  6. (transitive) To bring to the grass or ground; to land.
    • 1903, John Buchan, The African Colony:
      Let him hook and land a tigerfish of 20 lb., at the imminent risk of capsizing and joining the company of the engaging crocodiles, or, when he has grassed the fish, of having a finger bitten off by his iron teeth []
    • 2011, Deeanne Gist, Love on the Line, page 138:
      In typical Necker style, the farmer walked to the line and mounted his gun without any shilly-shally. If he grassed the bird, he and Faurote would go into a shootout. If he missed, Faurote would win.

Translations edit

Cimbrian edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Middle High German gras, from Old High German gras, from Proto-West Germanic *gras, from Proto-Germanic *grasą. Cognate with German Gras, English grass.

Noun edit

grass m

  1. (Luserna, Tredici Comuni) grass

References edit

Lombard edit

Etymology edit

From Latin crassus. Compare Italian grasso.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ɡras/
    • IPA(key): [ɡras] (Eastern, Western)
    • IPA(key): [ɡraʰ] (Brescian, Bergamasque)

Adjective edit

grass m (masculine plural grass, feminine singular grassa, feminine plural grasse)

  1. fat, thick

Noun edit


  1. fat, grease

Romansch edit

Etymology edit

From Latin crassus. Compare French graisse.

Noun edit

grass m

  1. fat