A mower is a machine for cutting grass or other plants that grow on the ground. Usually mowing is distinguished from reaping, which uses similar implements, but is the traditional term for harvesting grain crops, e.g. with reapers and combines.
A smaller mower used for lawns and sports grounds (playing fields) is called a lawn mower or grounds mower, which is often self-powered, or may also be small enough to be pushed by the operator. Grounds mowers have reel or rotary cutters. Larger mowers or mower-conditioners are mainly used to cut grass (or other crops) for hay or silage and often place the cut material into rows, which are referred to as windrows. Swathers (or windrowers) are also used to cut grass (and grain crops). Prior to the invention and adoption of mechanized mowers, (and today in places where use of a mower is impractical or uneconomical), grass and grain crops were cut by hand using scythes or sickles.