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See also: Weir and wèir


A weir in the Netherlands.


From Middle English were, from Old English wer, from werian (to dam up), from Proto-West Germanic *warjan, from Proto-Germanic *warjaną, from Proto-Indo-European *wer- (to cover); Cognate with Old Norse ver (station for fishing), Sanskrit वृणोति (vṛṇóti). Related to warranty.



weir (plural weirs)

  1. An adjustable dam placed across a river to regulate the flow of water downstream.
    • 1997, J. H. L'Abée-Lund & J. E. Brittain, "Weir construction as environmental mitigation in Norwegian hydropower schemes", Hydropower '97, pages 51-54.
      The weir must not represent a physical barrier to fish migration, both locally and throughout the whole river system. If necessary, a fishway is included in the weir.
    • 2010, Sathesh Gopi, Basic Civil Engineering, page 303
      A walkway over the weir is likely to be useful for the removal of floating debris trapped by the weir, or for working staunches and sluices on it as the rate of flow changes.
  2. A fence placed across a river to catch fish.
    • 1887, W. A. Wilcox, "58-New England Fisheries in May, 1886", Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission, volume VI, for 1886, page 191
      The weir catch of mackerel at Monomoy and along Cape Cod has been a failure.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      For a spell we done pretty well. Then there came a reg'lar terror of a sou'wester same as you don't get one summer in a thousand, and blowed the shanty flat and ripped about half of the weir poles out of the sand.

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