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See also: Wem




From Middle English wem, wemme, from Old English wamm (stain, spot, scar, disgrace, defect, defilement, sin, evil, crime, injury, loss, hurt, misfortune), from Proto-Germanic *wammaz (stain, spot), from Proto-Indo-European *wemh₁- (to spew, vomit). Cognate with Icelandic vamm (loss, damage), Latin vomō (vomit, verb) (English vomit), Ancient Greek ἐμέω (eméō, I spew) (English emesis), Lithuanian vemti (to vomit), Sanskrit वमति (vamati, to vomit)

Alternative forms[edit]


wem (plural wems)

  1. (Britain dialectal) A spot, stain, or mark; (by extension) a (moral) blemish or fault.
    • 1822, sir Walter Scott (bart [novels, collected]), Historical romances of the author of Waverley, page 513:
      "It is even so," he added, as he gazed on the Sub-Prior with astonishment; "neither wem nor wound — not so much as a rent in his frock!"
    • 1846, William Maskell, Monumenta ritualia Ecclesiae Anglicanae, page 8:
      The lawe of the lord is without wem, and conuertith soulis : the witnessyng of the lord is feithful, and gyueth wisdom to litle children.
    • 1934, Ezra Pound, ABC of reading, page 39:
      That "whole art" consisted in putting together about six strophes of poesy so that the words and the tune should be welded together without joint and without wem.
    • 1936, Blanche Mary Kelly, The Well of English:
      [] but it is a perfect illustration of the vision which haunted Blake all his days,—the vision of Paradise, an earthly Paradise in which there is neither wem nor wrinkle, which basks in the radiance of its own innocence.

Derived terms[edit]






  1. (interrogative) dative of wer, (to) whom (indirect object).

Further reading[edit]

  • wem” in Duden online