Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A grass (Bromus tectorum) that is native to Eurasian temperate regions and has become widespread in the grasslands of the western United States. Also called downy brome.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A local name for various types of grasses which resemble, but are different from, the predominant species growing in that locality.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. annual or winter annual grass with softly hairy leaves of the Mediterranean

Etymologies

Perhaps akin to cheat, bread made of inferior-quality wheat (from Middle English chet, from Old French) + grass.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From cheat + grass (because they often resemble other types of grass growing nearby). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In Nevada, the birds are challenged by an invasive species, cheatgrass, which is prone to frequent wildfires that burn up native sagebrush.

    TheState.com: The Buzz

  • The areas in between the bushes, which are surprisingly bare, are usually filled in with a desert grass such as cheatgrass, Idaho fescue, bluegrass, or bluebunch wheatgrass.

    Sagebrush

  • These annuals, such as cheatgrass brome (Bromus tectorum) and Russian thistle (Salsola paulensii), have become important in arresting succession in many areas.

    Great Basin shrub steppe

  • The common elements firefighters like to see eliminated on any property are dry grasses, such as cheatgrass, and dead bushes and trees.

    RGJ.com - Latest News

  • About 1,000 miles of roads would be closed and rehabilitated as part of the plan, herbicides would be used to get rid of noxious weeds such as cheatgrass and musk thistle, and riparian areas would be restored by using willows and other plants to stabilize stream banks.

    Durangoherald.com

  • Where early travelers saw sharp-tailed grouse, bison, bighorn sheep, grizzly bears, numerous beaver and even wolverines, today they see dust, feral horses, and noxious weeds including cheatgrass, halogeton and Russian thistle.

    Bird Cloud

  • We began a program of rehabilitation, trying to eradicate the cheatgrass, then sowing inland salt grass on its former ground.

    Bird Cloud

  • It snowed and after the snow melted Deryl scratched up a few acres on the east end where rampant cheatgrass had grown until Mr. Bromley, the weed control wizard from Encampment, had sprayed it earlier in the year.

    Bird Cloud

  • It was also shocking to me that their habitat inspector failed to notice the noxious weeds—leafy spurge along the waterways, Canada thistle, cheatgrass and other troublesome invaders largely spread by cattle.

    Bird Cloud

  • Suddenly it was mid-June and noxious weeds—leafy spurge, cheatgrass, hoary cress, Canada thistle—grew everywhere.

    Bird Cloud

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