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Definition of Slash-and-burn

(noun) A type of horticulture that involves cutting and setting fire to vegetation to clear fields for short-term cultivation.

Example of Slash-and-burn

Slash-and-burn Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: slash and burn

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /slAsh-uhnd-bUHRn/
  • British English – /slash-uhn(d)-bUHRn/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /slæʃ-ænd-bɜrn/
  • British English – /slæʃ-ænd-bɜːn/

Usage Notes

  • A slashed-and-burned field is fertilized by the ashes of burned vegetation. The cleared land is used until the soil no longer supports growing crops, and it is then abandoned or left fallow. The process then begins again.
  • Abandoned slash-and-burn fields are called swiddens.
  • Typically, slashing-and-burning occurs in tropical areas for temporary use, but it also occurs in forested areas in temperate climates to create permanent farm lands. This is called assarting.
  • Slash-and-burn is a primary subsistence strategy, others include:
  • Also called:
    • fire-fallow cultivation
    • jhoom cultivation
    • jhum
    • shifting agriculture
    • shifting cultivation
    • slash-and-burn agriculture
    • swidden
    • swidden agriculture
    • swidden farming
    • swidden-fallow agriculture

Additional Information

Related Terms

Cite the Definition of Slash-and-burn

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “slash-and-burn.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved July 18, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/slash-and-burn/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

slash-and-burn. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/slash-and-burn/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “slash-and-burn.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed July 18, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/slash-and-burn/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“slash-and-burn.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 18 Jul. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/slash-and-burn/>.