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From Middle English weghen, weȝen, from Old English wegan, from Proto-Germanic *weganą (to move, carry, weigh), from Proto-Indo-European *wéǵʰeti, from *weǵʰ- (to bring, transport). Cognate with Scots wey or weich, Dutch wegen, German wiegen, wägen, Danish veje, Norwegian Bokmål veie, Norwegian Nynorsk vega. Doublet of wedge, wagon, way, and vector.


  • enPR: , IPA(key): /weɪ/
  • (file)

Rhymes: -eɪ


weigh (third-person singular simple present weighs, present participle weighing, simple past and past participle weighed)

  1. (transitive) To determine the weight of an object.
  2. (transitive) Often with "out", to measure a certain amount of something by its weight, e.g. for sale.
    He weighed out two kilos of oranges for a client.
  3. (transitive, figuratively) To determine the intrinsic value or merit of an object, to evaluate.
    You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting.
  4. (intransitive, figuratively, obsolete) To judge; to estimate.
  5. (transitive) To consider a subject. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  6. (transitive) To have a certain weight.
    I weigh ten and a half stone.
  7. (intransitive) To have weight; to be heavy; to press down.
    • Cowper
      They only weigh the heavier.
    • Shakespeare
      Cleanse the stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff / Which weighs upon the heart.
  8. (intransitive) To be considered as important; to have weight in the intellectual balance.
    • Shakespeare
      Your vows to her and me [] will even weigh.
    • John Locke
      This objection ought to weigh with those whose reading is designed for much talk and little knowledge.
  9. (transitive, nautical) To raise an anchor free of the seabed.
  10. (intransitive, nautical) To weigh anchor.
    • 1624, John Smith, Generall Historie, in Kupperman 1988, p. 91:
      Towards the evening we wayed, and approaching the shoare [...], we landed where there lay a many of baskets and much bloud, but saw not a Salvage.
    • 1841, Edgar Allan Poe, ‘A Descent into the Maelström’:
      ‘Here we used to remain until nearly time for slack-water again, when we weighed and made for home.’
  11. To bear up; to raise; to lift into the air; to swing up.
    • Cowper
      Weigh the vessel up.
  12. (obsolete) To consider as worthy of notice; to regard.
    • Shakespeare
      I weigh not you.
    • Spenser
      all that she so dear did weigh

Derived termsEdit

Related 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.