Part of speech:
(Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.”
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in “a fallow season.”
2. After a linking verb, as in "The season was fallow.”)
When land is fallow, that means it's not being used, even though you could grow crops on it.
So, more abstractly, something fallow is unused even though it could be useful or it could develop.
"Fallow" is also a noun and a verb, but they're used mostly for talking about actual farming. We'll stick to the adjective for the abstract meaning.
How to use it:
Call something fallow when you want to compare it to a perfectly good field that's going unused and not growing anything. (You might talk about a fallow mind, a fallow market, a fallow career, a fallow resource, etc.) You can also have a fallow period of time.
Often we'll say something "lies fallow" or "goes fallow" or even "grows fallow:" "Her intelligence lay fallow as she wasted every spare moment on mindless video games."
In her song "Strawberry Wine," Deana Carter seems to compare a fallow romance to the unused, overgrown fields on her father's farm.
If you have to work long shifts as a server or bartender, you risk letting your real dreams go fallow for too long...especially if the work is routine and the money is good.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "fallow" means when you can explain it without saying “dormant" or "uncultivated."
Think of a time period when you really didn't accomplish much at all, and fill in the blank: "I went through a fallow period when/during _____."
Example: "I went through a fallow period during those brutally hot Houston summers; I'd plan lessons and go teach them, but I'd come home exhausted every day and never attempt any real writing."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don't go straight to the review now;let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month, we're reviewing recently featured words with some activities created with my favorite vocabulary software: Vocabulary Worksheet Factory, made by Schoolhouse Technologies. It's a simple, flexible program that lets you input word lists and definitions, then create customized, fun worksheets for review. We're starting off with very easy activities, then working our way toward harder reviews throughout the month.
Elizabeth Painter Morana:
“Sitting patiently with confusion
Oft yields a brilliant conclusion.”
1. The opposite of FALLOW is
2. It'll take more than a little _____ to bring this otherwise fallow idea _____.
A. time .. to the ground
B. effort .. into our imagination
C. hard work .. to fruition
Answers are below.
To be a sponsor and send your own message to readers of this list, please contact Liesl at Liesl@HiloTutor.com.
Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
Subscribe to "Make Your Point" for a daily vocabulary boost.