From Middle English wenen, from Old English wenian (“to accustom; habituate; train; prepare; make fit”), from Proto-Germanic *wanjaną (“to make wont; accustom”), from Proto-Indo-European *wenh₁- (“to strive for; wish; love”). Cognate with Dutch wennen, German gewöhnen, Danish vænne, Swedish vänja, Icelandic venja. Related via PIE to wone, wont, and wonder, and perhaps win.
- (transitive) To cease giving breast milk to an offspring; to accustom and reconcile (a child or young animal) to a want or deprivation of mother's milk; to take from the breast or udder.
- The cow has weaned her calf.
- (intransitive) To cease to depend on the mother's milk for nutrition.
- The kittens are finally weaning.
- (transitive, by extension, normally "wean off") To cause to quit something to which one is addicted, dependent, or habituated.
- He managed to wean himself off heroin.
- 1727, Jonathan Swift, (Please provide the book title or journal name):
- The troubles of age were intended […] to wean us gradually from our fondness of life.
- March 6, 2017, John Oliver, “Interview with the Dalai Lama”, in Last Week Tonight:
- Dalai Lama: "Then, I suggested, “Drink much less vodka.” Instead of that, they traditionally also drink horse milk—"
Oliver: "Wait, hold on, you tried to wean them off vodka by giving them horse milk?"
Dalai Lama: "Oh yes, and they follow."
- (intransitive, by extension) To cease to depend.
- She is weaning from her addiction to tobacco.
- (transitive, by extension, obsolete) To raise, to help grow toward maturity
- c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. […] The First Part […], part 1, 2nd edition, London: […] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, […], published 1592, OCLC 932920499; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire; London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act I, scene ii:
- For they are friends that help to weane my ſtate,
Till men and kingdomes help to ſtrengthen it: […]
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
wean (plural weans)
- (Scotland, Ulster) A small child.
- 1902, John Buchan, The Outgoing of the Tide:
- And there were darker tales in the countryside, of weans stolen, of lassies misguided, of innocent beasts cruelly tortured, and in one and all there came in the name of the wife of the Skerburnfoot.
wean (plural weans)
- young child