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 or (obsolete) wende or (obsolete) wente, past participle weened or (obsolete) wend or (obsolete) went)

  1. (archaic) To suppose, imagine; to think, believe.
    • 1485, Syr Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Bk.IV, Ch.viij:
      And ryght as Arthur was on horsbak / ther cam a damoisel from Morgan le fey and broughte vnto syr Arthur a swerd lyke vnto Excalibur / [] / and sayd vnto Arthur Morgan le fey sendeth here your swerd for grete loue / and he thanked her / & wende it had ben so / but she was fals / for the swerd and the scaubard 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]

Etymology 3[edit]

Verb[edit]

ween (third-person singular simple present weens, present participle weening, simple past and past participle weened)

  1. Misspelling of wean.

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