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See also: Weed



Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English weed, weod, from Old English wēod (weed), from Proto-West Germanic *weud (weed).

Cognate with Saterland Frisian Jood (weed), West Frisian wjûd (weed), Dutch wied (unwanted plant, weed), German Low German Weed (weed), Old High German wiota (fern). See also woad.


weed (countable and uncountable, plural weeds)

  1. (countable) Any plant unwanted at the place where and at the time when it is growing.
    If it isn't in a straight line or marked with a label, it's a weed.
    • 1944, Miles Burton, chapter 5, in The Three Corpse Trick:
      The hovel stood in the centre of what had once been a vegetable garden, but was now a patch of rank weeds. Surrounding this, almost like a zareba, was an irregular ring of gorse and brambles, an unclaimed vestige of the original common.
  2. Short for duckweed.
  3. (uncountable, archaic or obsolete) Underbrush; low shrubs.
  4. A drug or the like made from the leaves of a plant.
    1. (uncountable, slang) Cannabis.
      Synonyms: see Thesaurus:marijuana
      • 2015 March 14, Barack Obama, Remarks by the President at the 2015 Gridiron Dinner[1]:
        And I predict you will laugh harder than ever. I’m not saying I’m any funnier. I’m saying weed is now legal in D.C.
    2. (with "the", uncountable, slang) Tobacco.
    3. (obsolete, countable) A cigar.
  5. (countable) A weak horse, which is therefore unfit to breed from.
  6. (countable, Britain, informal) A puny person; one who has little physical strength.
  7. (countable, figuratively) Something unprofitable or troublesome; anything useless.
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English weeden, weden, from Old English wēodian (to weed), from Proto-Germanic *weudōną (to uproot, weed). Cognate with West Frisian wjûde, wjudde (to weed), Dutch wieden (to weed), German Low German weden (to weed).


weed (third-person singular simple present weeds, present participle weeding, simple past and past participle weeded)

  1. To remove unwanted vegetation from a cultivated area.
    I weeded my flower bed.
  2. (figurative) To pilfer the best items from a collection.
    • 1842, [anonymous collaborator of Letitia Elizabeth Landon], chapter XXXVIII, in Lady Anne Granard; or, Keeping up Appearances. [], volume II, London: Henry Colburn, [], →OCLC, page 183:
      She now regretted much having had the case taken to the duke's, for surely it might have been weeded to very good purpose, and no one the wiser.
  3. (library science) To systematically remove materials from a library collection based on a set of criteria.
    We usually weed romance novels that haven't circulated in over a year.
    • 2003, Juris Dilevko; Lisa Gottlieb, “Weed to achieve: a fundamental part of the public library mission?”, in Library Collections, Acquisitions, and Technical Services, volume 27, number 1, →DOI, page 73:
      Librarians overwhelmingly believe that weeding increases use of books and patron satisfaction.
See also[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

From Middle English wede, from Old English wǣd (dress, attire, clothing, garment), from Proto-Germanic *wēdiz, from which also wad, wadmal. Cognate with Dutch lijnwaad, Dutch gewaad, German Wat.


weed (plural weeds)

  1. (archaic) A garment or piece of clothing.
  2. (archaic) Clothing collectively; clothes, dress.
  3. (archaic) An article of dress worn in token of grief; a mourning garment or badge.
    He wore a weed on his hat.
  4. (archaic) Especially in the plural as widow's weeds: (female) mourning apparel.

Etymology 4[edit]

From Scots weid, weed. The longer form weidinonfa, wytenonfa (Old Scots wedonynpha) is attested since the 1500s. Jamieson's Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language analyses the longer form as a compound meaning "onfa(ll) of a weed", whereas the Scottish National Dictionary/DSL considers the short form a derivative of the longer form, and derives its first element from Old English wēdan (to be mad or delirious), from wōd (mad, enraged).


weed (plural weeds)

  1. (Scotland) A sudden illness or relapse, often attended with fever, which befalls those who are about to give birth, are giving birth, or have recently given birth or miscarried or aborted.
    • 1822, William Campbell, “Observations on the Disease usually termed Puerperal Fever, with Cases”, in The Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal, volume 18:
      The patient [] aborted between the second and third month; [] felt herself so well on the second day after, that she went to the washing-green; and, on her return home in the evening, was seized with a violent rigor, which, by herself and those around her, was considered as the forerunner of a weed.
  2. (Scotland) Lymphangitis in a horse.

Etymology 5[edit]

From the verb wee.



  1. simple past tense and past participle of wee