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90s Slang You Should Know


[tuhm-buh l-weed] /ˈtʌm bəlˌwid/
any of various plants, as Amaranthus albus, A. graecizans, or the Russian thistle, Salsola kali, whose branching upper parts become detached from the roots and are driven about by the wind.
Origin of tumbleweed
An Americanism dating back to 1885-90; tumble + weed1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for tumbleweed
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Historical Examples
  • She wasted time in trying to dip deep enough to get clear of the tumbleweed which floated on top.

    The Trail of Conflict Emilie Baker Loring
  • Every man retrieved his own birds, a matter of some difficulty in the tumbleweed.

    The Killer Stewart Edward White
  • If he ever came up to a tumbleweed he would lie right down on it and go to sleep.

  • The machine lighted as softly on the carpet of tumbleweed as might a fluff of thistle-down.

    The Trail of Conflict Emilie Baker Loring
  • They bounced off a cliff, turned over and over like a tumbleweed.

    The Martian Cabal Roman Frederick Starzl
  • When twilight came he had found a perch in a pile of tumbleweed, far from the sheltering bushes by the river.

  • The tumbleweed still stirred with every breath of air but everything else was still.

    The Trail of Conflict Emilie Baker Loring
  • The tumbleweed banked high wherever, in the mysterious dispensations of Providence, a call for tumbleweed had made itself heard.

    The Killer Stewart Edward White
British Dictionary definitions for tumbleweed


any densely branched plant that breaks off near the ground on withering and is rolled about by the wind, esp one of several amaranths of the western US and Australia
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tumbleweed

also tumble-weed, 1887, from tumble (v.) + weed (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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