weedy

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

weed +‎ -y

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

weedy (comparative weedier, superlative weediest)

  1. Abounding with weeds.
    weedy grounds; a weedy garden; weedy corn
    • 1577, Barnabe Googe (translator), The Foure Bookes of Husbandry, collected by M. Conradus Heresbachius, London: Richard Watkins, Book 1, p. 27,[1]
      Wheate delighteth in a leuell, riche, warme, and a drye ground: a shaddowy, weedy, and a hilly ground, it loueth not []
    • 1871, William Cullen Bryant, “The Path” in Poems, New York: Appleton, p. 354,[2]
      See, from the weedy earth a rivulet break
      And purl along the untrodden wilderness;
  2. Of, relating to or resembling weeds.
    • 1894, Catharine Parr Traill, Pearls and Pebbles, London: Sampson Low, Marston, “Our Native Grasses,” p. 214,[3]
      The wild rice has a peculiar weedy, smoky flavor, but if properly cooked is very delicious.
    • 1925, Aldous Huxley, Those Barren Leaves, Part 2, Chapter 5,[4]
      A faint weedy smell came up from the river []
    • 1940, Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely, Chapter 5,[5]
      She had weedy hair of that vague color which is neither brown nor blond, that hasn't enough life in it to be ginger, and isn't clean enough to be gray.
  3. Consisting of weeds.
    • c. 1600, William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 7,[6]
      There on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds
      Clamb’ring to hang, an envious sliver broke,
      When down her weedy trophies and herself
      Fell in the weeping brook.
    • 1854, Henry David Thoreau, Walden, Boston: Ticknor & Fields, “The Bean-Field,” p. 175,[7]
      Daily the beans saw me come to their rescue armed with a hoe, and thin the ranks of their enemies, filling up the trenches with weedy dead.
    • 1917, James Joyce, “Flood” in Poetry, Volume 10, April-September, 1917, p. 73,[8]
      A waste of waters ruthlessly
      Sways and uplifts its weedy mane,
      Where brooding day stares down upon the sea
      In dull disdain.
  4. (botany) Characteristic of a plant that grows rapidly and spreads invasively, and which grows opportunistically in cracks of sidewalks and disturbed areas.
    a weedy species; a weedy vine
    • 1614, Gervase Markham, The Second Booke of the English Husbandman, London: John Browne, Part 2, Chapter 7, pp. 84-85,[9]
      [] and so your soyle being drayned and kept dry, all those wéedy kindes of grasse will soone perish.
  5. (of a person or animal) Small and weak; scraggy; ungainly.
    a weedy lad
    • 1865, Elizabeth Gaskell, Wives and Daughters, Chapter 8,[10]
      I’ll bring Grace, who is looking rather pale and weedy; growing too fast, I’m afraid.
    • 1924, Edith Wharton, The Spark (The Sixties), Chapter 2, in Old New York, New York: 1981, p. 146,[11]
      Byrne was hurling himself across the field, crouched on the neck of his somewhat weedy mount []
    • 1929, Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest, Chapter 2,[12]
      We were about the same age. He was weedy, nearly a head taller than I, but fifty pounds lighter.
  6. (Britain, Ireland, informal) Lacking power or effectiveness, feeble.
    a weedy excuse; a weedy attempt; a weedy motor
    • 2010, Juliet Woods, “We all know fast food is bad for us,” The Telegraph, 22 June, 2010,[13]
      Everything in moderation is a bit of a weedy call to arms, but as a rule for living it’s hard to beat.
    • 2016, Orla Kielly, quoted in “Designs for life from Orla Kiely,” Irish Independent, 3 April, 2016,[14]
      We wanted to make sure that our jewellery made a statement, that it wasn't wimpy or weedy.

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