From Middle English *fermer, fermour ( “a steward, bailliff, collector of taxes” ), partly from Old French fermier ( “a farmer, a lessee, husbandman, bailliff” ), from Medieval Latin firmarius ( “one to whom land is rented, a collector of taxes, deputy” ), from firma, see farm; and partly from Old English feormere ( “a purveyor of a guild, a suplier of food, a grocer, farmer” ), from feormian ( “to purvey, supply, feed” ), equivalent to farm + -er. More at farm .
Explanation of farmer by Wordnet Dictionary
- Farmer ( färmẽr ), n. [Cf. F. fermier.] One who farms; as: One who hires and cultivates a farm; a cultivator of leased ground; a tenant. Smart. One who is devoted to the tillage of the soil; one who cultivates a farm; an agriculturist; a husbandman. One who takes taxes, customs, excise, or other duties, to collect, either paying a fixed annuual rent for the privilege; as, “a farmer of the revenues”. ( Mining ) The lord of the field, or one who farms the lot and cope of the crown.
Farmer-general [F. fermier-general], one to whom the right of levying certain taxes, in a particular district, was farmed out, under the former French monarchy, for a given sum paid down. -- Farmers' satin, a light material of cotton and worsted, used for coat linings. McElrath. -- The king's farmer ( O. Eng. Law ), one to whom the collection of a royal revenue was farmed out. Burrill.
Definition of farmer by GCIDE Dictionary