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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English weed, weod, from Old English wēod (weed), Proto-Germanic *weudą (weed). Cognate with Dutch wied (unwanted plant, weed).


weed (countable and uncountable, plural weeds)

  1. (countable) Any plant regarded as 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.
    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 termsEdit
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.
See alsoEdit

Etymology 2Edit

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.
See alsoEdit

Etymology 3Edit

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.
    • 1599, William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, Act 5 Scene 3
      DON PEDRO. Come, let us hence, and put on other weeds;
      And then to Leonato's we will go.
      CLAUDIO. And Hymen now with luckier issue speed's,
      Than this for whom we rend'red up this woe!
    • 1819, Walter Scott, Ivanhoe
      These two dignified persons were followed by their respective attendants, and at a more humble distance by their guide, whose figure had nothing more remarkable than it derived from the usual weeds of a pilgrim.
  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.
    • 1641, John Milton, Of Reformation in England, Second Book:
      In a mourning weed, with ashes upon her head, and tears abundantly flowing.
    • 1820, John Keats, “Isabella; or, The Pot of Basil. A Story from Boccaccio.”, in Lamia, Isabella, the Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems, London: Printed [by Thomas Davison] for Taylor and Hessey, [], OCLC 927360557, stanza XXIX, page 63:
      Poor Girl! put on thy stifling widow’s weed, / And ’scape at once from Hope’s accursed bands; [...]

Etymology 4Edit

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 5Edit

From the verb wee.



  1. simple past tense and past participle of wee