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.
weigh (third-person singular simple present weighs, present participle weighing, simple past and past participle weighed)
- (transitive) To determine the weight of an object.
- (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.
- (transitive, figuratively) To determine the intrinsic value or merit of an object, to evaluate.
You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting.
2011, Roy F. Baumeister, John Tierney, Willpower, →ISBN, page 103:
As they started picking features, customers would carefully weigh the choices, but as decision fatigue set in they'd start settling for whatever the default option was.
- (intransitive, figuratively, obsolete) To judge; to estimate.
1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. […], part II (books IV–VI), London: […] [Richard Field] for VVilliam Ponsonby, OCLC 932900760, book VI, canto VII, page 444: But ſhe thereof grew proud and inſolent, / That none ſhe worthie thought to be her fere, / But ſcornd them all, that loue vnto her ment; / Yet was ſhe lou’d of many a worthy pere, / Vnworthy ſhe to be belou’d ſo dere, / That could not weigh of worthineſſe aright.
- (transitive) To consider a subject. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
- (transitive) To have a certain weight.
I weigh ten and a half stone.
- (intransitive) To have weight; to be heavy; to press down.
1613, William Shakespeare; [John Fletcher], “The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act V, scene i], page 228, column 1:
If they ſhall faile, I with mine Enemies
Will triumph o're my perſon, which I waigh not,
Being of thoſe Vertues vacant.
- They only weigh the heavier.
- (intransitive) To be considered as important; to have weight in the intellectual balance.
c. 1595–1596, William Shakespeare, “A Midsommer Nights Dreame”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene ii], page 154, column 1:
Your vowes to her, and me, […] / Will euen weigh, and both as light as tales.
a. 1705, John Locke, “Of the Conduct of the Understanding”, in Posthumous Works of Mr. John Locke: […], London: […] A[wnsham] and J[ohn] Churchill, […], published 1706, OCLC 6963663, § 19, page 62: I anſwer, this is a good Objection, and ought to weigh with thoſe whoſe Reading is deſign’d for much Talk and little Knowledge, and I have nothing to ſay to it.
- (transitive, nautical) To raise an anchor free of the seabed.
- (intransitive, nautical) To weigh anchor.
1624, Walter Russell; Anas Todkill; Thomas Momford, “The Accidents that hapned in the Discovery of the Bay of Chisapeack”, in John Smith, The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: […], London: […] I[ohn] D[awson] and I[ohn] H[aviland] for Michael Sparkes, OCLC 1049014009, book 3; reprinted in The Generall Historie of Virginia, [...] (Bibliotheca Americana), Cleveland, Oh.: The World Publishing Company, 1966, OCLC 633956660, page 56: Towards the euening we wayed, & approaching the ſhoare [...], we landed where there lay a many of baskets and much bloud, but ſaw not a Salvage.
- To bear up; to raise; to lift into the air; to swing up.
1782, William Cowper, On the Loss of the Royal George:
Weigh the vessel up.
- (obsolete) To consider as worthy of notice; to regard.
1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. […], London: […] [John Wolfe] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938, book VII, canto VI, stanza 55, page 358:
Them all, and all that ſhe ſo deare did way, […]
c. 1595–1596, William Shakespeare, “Loues Labour’s Lost”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act V, scene ii], page 137, column 1:
Kat. So do not you, for you are a light Wench. / Roſ. Indeed I waigh not you, and therefore light. / Ka. You waigh me not, O that’s you care not for me.
- In commercial and everyday use, the term "weight" is usually used to mean mass, and the verb "to weigh" means "to determine the mass of" or "to have a mass of".
to determine the weight of an object
to determine the intrinsic value or merit of an object
nautical: to raise an anchor
- 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.
Translations to be checked