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slash-and-burn

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

  • IPA Pronunciation
    • American English
      • /slæʃ ænd bərn/
    • British English
      • /slaʃ and bəːn/
  • Syllabification: (slash and burn)

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 September 21, 2019 (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 September 21, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/slash-and-burn/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“slash-and-burn.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 21 Sep. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/slash-and-burn/>.