Basic+ Word of the Day: hay

hay (noun) LISTEN

Bales of hay

Hay is grass cut and dried for use as food for animals.

  • Josh drove past bales of hay drying in the fields.
  • Hay is a big part of horses' diets.

Don't confuse it with

Many people, especially city folk, confuse straw and hay. Straw is what is left over when you harvest grains, such as wheat, oats, and barley. It has little nutritional value and is used as bedding for animals and mulch (a covering around plants to prevent moisture loss). Hay is the entire plant of legumes including seeds, such as alfafa and clover and is used as feed for animals, such as horses.

Common uses

make hay while the sun shines: take advantage of an opportunity while you can. Example: “Buy the company’s stock while it is low; make hay while the sun shines.”

hit the hay: go to bed. Example: “I have to wake up at 6:00AM; I’d better hit the hay.”

In pop culture

Haywire means ‘crazy’ or ‘out of control.’ In the movie Haywire, a betrayed agent devises a trap to stay alive, but things go haywire. Watch the trailer.

There are other meanings of hay.
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