AskDefine | Define graze

Dictionary Definition



1 a superficial abrasion
2 the act of grazing [syn: grazing]


1 feed as in a meadow or pasture; "the herd was grazing" [syn: crop, browse, range, pasture]
2 break the skin (of a body part) by scraping; "She was grazed by the stray bullet"
3 let feed in a field or pasture or meadow [syn: crop, pasture]
4 scrape gently; "graze the skin" [syn: crease, rake]
5 eat lightly, try different dishes; "There was so much food at the party that we quickly got sated just by browsing" [syn: browse]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. The act of grazing; a touching or rubbing lightly on passing.
  2. A light touch; a slight scratch.


act of grazing or scratching lightly
light scratch
  • Kurdish:


  1. To feed or supply (cattle, sheep, etc.) with grass; to furnish pasture for.
    • 1999: Although it is perfectly good meadowland, none of the villagers has ever grazed animals on the meadow on the other side of the wall. — Stardust, Neil Gaiman, page 4 (2001 Perennial Edition).
  2. To feed on; to eat (growing herbage); to eat grass from (a pasture); to browse.
    cattle graze on the meadows
  3. To tend (cattle, etc.) while grazing.
  4. To rub or touch lightly the surface of (a thing) in passing.
    the bullet grazed the wall
  5. To cause a slight wound to.
    to graze one's knee


to feed or supply with grass
  • Finnish: laiduntaa
to eat grass from a pasture
  • Finnish: laiduntaa
  • Norwegian: beite, gresse, gå på gress
to tend cattle while grazing
  • Finnish: paimentaa
to rub or touch lightly the surface of in passing
  • Finnish: raapaista
to cause a slight wound to
  • Finnish: raapaista, naarmuttaa

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

Grazing generally describes a type of predation in which an herbivore feeds on plants (such as grasses), or more broadly on a multicellular autotrophs (such as kelp). Grazing differs from true predation because the organism being eaten is not killed, and it differs from parasitism as the two organisms do not live together, nor is the grazer necessarily so limited in what it can eat (see generalist and specialist species).
The word "graze" derives from the Old English (OE) grasian, "graze", itself related to OE graes, "grass". For terrestrial animals grazing is normally distinguished from browsing in that grazing is eating grass or other low vegetation, and browsing is eating woody twigs and leaves from trees and shrubs . However, "grazing" is sometimes used to refer to both grazing and browsing.
Grazing may be associated with mammals feeding on grasslands, or more specifically livestock on a farm. However, ecologists sometimes use the word in a much broader sense, including any organism that feeds on any other without living in close association with it or ending its life by the act of feeding on it, as described above. An example of a grazer that might seem counterintuitive to the everyday use of the word is a mosquito, which is not a parasite in that it does not form any lasting association with its prey, and is not a true predator in that it does not kill them by this act (although they can act as a vector for fatal diseases such as malaria). In this sense it is the antithesis of parasitoidism, in which an organism (typically the larval stage of a wasp) feeds on another by eating it from within. In that case, the prey is inevitably killed by successful predation, and has an intimate association with its predator, such that its premature death would also see the parasitoid die as well. Use of the term varies however, for example a marine biologist may describe herbivorous sea urchins that feed on kelp as grazers even when they consistently kill the organism by cutting the plant down at the base.
Many smaller, selective herbivores follow grazers because they skim off the highest, tough growth of plants exposing tender shoots.

See also


graze in Macedonian: Пасење
graze in Dutch: Grazen (biologie)
graze in Japanese: 放牧
graze in Swedish: Bete (ätande)

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

ablate, abrade, abrase, attouchement, bark, batten upon, beak, board, bread, breath, browse, bruise, brush, brush by, bunt, caress, carom, chafe, chuck, come in contact, contact, contingence, contuse, crop, cutaneous sense, dab, dap, dine, erase, erode, fatten on, fatten upon, feast on, feast upon, feed, feed on, feel, feeling, file, fillip, fingertip caress, flick, flip, flirt, fodder, forage, fray, frazzle, fret, gall, glance, gnaw, gnaw away, grass, grate, gratify, grind, hand-mindedness, harm, hit, hurt, impinge, impingement, impingence, injure, kiss, lambency, lap, lick, light touch, live on, meat, mess, nudge, osculate, osculation, pasture, pasture on, pat, peck, pick, prey on, provision, rap, rasp, raze, regale, ricochet, rub, rub away, rub off, rub out, ruffle, satisfy, scour, scrape, scrub, scuff, sense of touch, shave, sideswipe, skim, skin, skip, skirt, snap, squeak by, stroke, sustain, sweep, tactile sense, taction, tangency, tap, tentative contact, tentative poke, tickle, tip, touch, touch lightly, touch upon, touching, wear, wear away, whisk, whisper, wine and dine, wound
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1