ween

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English wene, from Old English wēn, wēna (hope, weening, expectation), from Proto-Germanic *wēniz, *wēnǭ (hope, expectation), from Proto-Indo-European *wen- (to strive, love, want, reach, win). Cognate with German Wahn (illusion, false hope).

Noun[edit]

ween (plural weens)

  1. (obsolete) Doubt; conjecture.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English wenen, from Old English wēnan, from Proto-Germanic *wēnijaną. Cognate with Dutch wanen, German wähnen.

Verb[edit]

ween (third-person singular simple present weens, present participle weening, simple past weened, wende (obsolete), or wente (obsolete), past participle weened, wend (obsolete), or went (obsolete))

  1. (archaic) To suppose, imagine; to think, believe.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book IV:
      ther cam a damoisel from Morgan le fay and brought vnto syr Arthur a swerd lyke vnto Excalibur [...], and he thanked her, & wende it had ben so, but she was fals, for the swerd and the scauberd was counterfeet & brutyll and fals.
    • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Acts VIII:
      Then sayde Peter unto hym: Perissh thou and thy money togedder. For thou wenest that the gyfte of god maye be obteyned with money?
  2. (dated) To expect, hope or wish.
Quotations[edit]
  • 1481 Author unknown (pseudonym Sir John Mandeville), The travels of Sir John Mandeville
    And when they will fight they will shock them together in a plump; that if there be 20000 men, men shall not ween that there be scant 10000.
  • 1562 John Heywood, The proverbs, epigrams, and miscellanies of John Heywood
    Wise men in old time would ween themselves fools; Fools now in new time will ween themselves wise.
  • 1677 Thomas Mall, A cloud of witnesses
    … for I ween he will no longer suffer him to abide among the adulterous and wicked Generation of this World.
  • 1793, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Christabel
    But neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder,
    Shall wholly do away, I ween,
    The marks of that which once hath been.
  • 1884, W.S. Gilbert, Princess Ida
    Yet humble second shall be first, I ween
  • 1974, Stanislaw Lem, The Cyberiad
    Klapaucius too, I ween, Will turn the deepest green
    To hear such flawless verse from Trurl's machine.
Derived terms[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

ween

  1. first-person singular present indicative of wenen
  2. imperative of wenen

Anagrams[edit]


Low German[edit]

Verb[edit]

ween

  1. Alternative spelling of wesen.

North Frisian[edit]

Adjective[edit]

ween

  1. blue