Etymology 1Edit

From Old English wēod. Cognate with Dutch wied (unwanted plant, weed).


weed (plural weeds)

  1. A plant.
    1. (countable) Any plant growing in cultivated ground to the injury of the crop or desired vegetation, or to the disfigurement of the place; an unsightly, useless, or injurious plant.
      If it isn't in a straight line or marked with a label, it's a weed.
      • 1944, Miles Burton, chapter 5, 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. (countable) A species of plant considered harmful to the environment or regarded as a nuisance.
    3. Short for duckweed.
    4. (uncountable, archaic or obsolete) Underbrush; low shrubs.
      • Edmund Spenser (c.1552–1599)
        one rushing forth out of the thickest weed
      • Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)
        A wild and wanton pard [] / Crouched fawning in the weed.
  2. A drug or the like made from the leaves of a plant.
    1. (uncountable, slang) Marijuana.
    2. (obsolete, uncountable, slang) Tobacco.
    3. (obsolete, countable) A cigar.
  3. (obsolete, countable) A horse unfit to breed from.
  4. (countable, UK, informal) A puny person; one who has with little physical strength.
  5. (countable, Scotland) A sudden illness or relapse, often attended with fever, which attacks women in childbed.
  6. (countable, figuratively) Something unprofitable or troublesome; anything useless.
Derived termsEdit
See alsoEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Old English wēodian.


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 Old English wǣd, from Proto-Germanic. Compare Dutch lijnwaad, gewaad.


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) widow's weeds: female mourning apparel
    • Milton
      In a mourning weed, with ashes upon her head, and tears abundantly flowing.

Etymology 4Edit

From the verb wee.



  1. simple past tense and past participle of wee


Last modified on 12 April 2014, at 06:42