- to accustom (a child or young animal) to food other than its mother's milk; cause to lose the need to suckle or turn to the mother for food.
- to withdraw (a person, the affections, one's dependency, etc.) from some object, habit, form of enjoyment, or the like: The need to reduce had weaned us from rich desserts.
- wean on, to accustom to; to familiarize with from, or as if from, childhood: a brilliant student weaned on the classics; suburban kids weaned on rock music.
Origin of wean
Examples from the Web for wean
“Since MGP whiskey is [more than] 80 percent of my revenues, it might be silly to wean myself off of that,” Perkins says.Your ‘Craft’ Rye Whiskey Is Probably From a Factory Distillery in Indiana
July 28, 2014
The court postponed execution of the sentence, to give her time to recover from childbirth and to wean the new baby.In Sudan a Pregnant Woman May Be Hanged for Marrying a Christian
May 17, 2014
Direct payments came into being in 1996, originally as an effort to wean farmers off of direct government subsides altogether.Why Don't We Eliminate Farm Subsidies?
April 12, 2013
But it was Carter who first crusaded for the U.S. to wean itself off of its dependence on oil.Carter in Oscarland: The Rehabilitation of the 39th President
February 24, 2013
“I was trying to wean him off,” Murray said to the detectives.The Fight Over Jackson's Health
October 12, 2011
But I might have known that she could not, all at once, wean herself from the trumpery.The Bacillus of Beauty
I wrote Turner Simpson to send you the pup when it was old enough to wean.Watch Yourself Go By
Al. G. Field
Did she wish to wean the tempestuous Judy from her old friends?Molly Brown's Senior Days
No good can come of his intimacy with Bigot; Amlie, you must wean him from it.The Golden Dog
It's a thrawn-fac'd wean that's gotten against the father's will.The Proverbs of Scotland
- to cause (a child or young mammal) to replace mother's milk by other nourishment
- (usually foll by from) to cause to desert former habits, pursuits, etc
- Scot and Northern English dialect a child; infant
Word Origin and History for wean
Old English wenian "to accustom," from Proto-Germanic *wanjanan (cf. Old Norse venja, Dutch wennen, Old High German giwennan, German gewöhnen "to accustom"), from *wanaz "accustomed" (related to wont). The sense of weaning a child from the breast in Old English was generally expressed by gewenian or awenian, which has a sense of "unaccustom" (cf. German abgewöhnen, entwöhnen "to wean," literally "to unaccustom"). The prefix subsequently wore off. Figurative extension to any pursuit or habit is from 1520s.
- To deprive permanently of breast milk and begin to nourish with other food.
- To accustom the young of a mammal to take nourishment other than by suckling.
- To gradually withdraw from a life-support system.