wean

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search

English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

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.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • enPR: wēn, IPA(key): /wiːn/
  • Rhymes: -iːn
  • (file)

Verb[edit]

wean (third-person singular simple present weans, present participle weaning, simple past and past participle weaned)

  1. (transitive) To cease giving 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.
  2. (intransitive) To cease to depend on the mother for nourishment.
    The kittens are finally weaning.
  3. (transitive, by extension, normally "wean off") To cause to quit something to which one is addicted or habituated.
    He managed to wean himself off heroin.
    • 1727, Jonathan Swift, (Please provide the book title or journal name)[1]:
      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 on 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."
  4. (intransitive, by extension) To cease to depend.
    She is weaning from her addiction to tobacco.
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

Blend of wee +‎ ane.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /wiːn/, /weɪn/, [weːn]

Noun[edit]

wean (plural weans)

  1. (Scotland, Ulster) A small child.
    • 2008, James Kelman, Kieron Smith, Boy, Penguin 2009, p. 92:
      Pigs, cows and sheep and wee ducks, that was what he bought and it was just for weans and wee lasses. I said it to my maw.
      Oh it is not weans it is children. Oh Kieron, it is children and girls, do not say weans and lasses.
    • 1856, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “Third Book”, in Aurora Leigh, London: Chapman and Hall, [], published 1857, OCLC 1000396166:
      I, being but a yearling wean.

Anagrams[edit]


Old English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

wēan m

  1. inflection of wēa:
    1. accusative/genitive/dative singular
    2. nominative/accusative plural

Scots[edit]

Etymology[edit]

wee +‎ ane

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

wean (plural weans)

  1. young child

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]