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[weed] /wid/
a valueless plant growing wild, especially one that grows on cultivated ground to the exclusion or injury of the desired crop.
any undesirable or troublesome plant, especially one that grows profusely where it is not wanted:
The vacant lot was covered with weeds.
Informal. a cigarette or cigar.
Slang. a marijuana cigarette.
a thin, ungainly person or animal.
a wretched or useless animal, especially a horse unfit for racing or breeding purposes.
the weed.
  1. Informal. tobacco.
  2. Slang. marijuana.
verb (used with object)
to free from weeds or troublesome plants; root out weeds from:
to weed a garden.
to root out or remove (a weed or weeds), as from a garden (often followed by out):
to weed out crab grass from a lawn.
to remove as being undesirable, inefficient, or superfluous (often followed by out):
to weed out inexperienced players.
to rid (something) of undesirable or superfluous elements.
verb (used without object)
to remove weeds or the like.
(deep) in / into the weeds, Slang.
  1. (of a restaurant worker) overwhelmed and falling behind in serving customers:
    Our waitress was so deep in the weeds that we waited 40 minutes for our burgers.
  2. in trouble; overwhelmed by problems:
    He knows our marriage is in deep weeds.
  3. involved in the details:
    I’m in the weeds of planning my wedding.
Also, in deep weeds.
Origin of weed1
before 900; Middle English wede, Old English wēod; cognate with Old Saxon wiod weed, Middle Dutch wiet fern
Related forms
weedless, adjective
weedlike, adjective
unweeded, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for weed out
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • As Peter Winn's secretary it was his task to weed out, sort, and classify his employer's mail.

    The Night-Born Jack London
  • These are the years that weed out those that have mistaken their calling.

    A Fleet in Being Rudyard Kipling
  • It takes three weeks, nearly, to find out whos good and to weed out the others, and thats just so much time lost.

    Left Half Harmon Ralph Henry Barbour
  • Only in this way will it be possible to weed out the undesirable risks.

    Arteriosclerosis and Hypertension: Louis Marshall Warfield
  • I compel Mike to weed out my lawn every spring and autumn, but Jimpsonberry doesn't attend to his at all.

    The Idiot at Home John Kendrick Bangs
British Dictionary definitions for weed out

weed out

(transitive, adverb) to separate out, remove, or eliminate (anything unwanted): to weed out troublesome students


any plant that grows wild and profusely, esp one that grows among cultivated plants, depriving them of space, food, etc
  1. the weed, tobacco
  2. marijuana
(informal) a thin or unprepossessing person
an inferior horse, esp one showing signs of weakness of constitution
to remove (useless or troublesome plants) from (a garden, etc)
Derived Forms
weeder, noun
weedless, adjective
weedlike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English weod; related to Old Saxon wiod, Old High German wiota fern


(rare) a black crepe band worn to indicate mourning See also weeds
Word Origin
Old English wǣd, wēd; related to Old Saxon wād, Old High German wāt, Old Norse vāth
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 weed out



"plant not valued for use or beauty," Old English weod, uueod "grass, herb, weed," from Proto-Germanic *weud- (cf. Old Saxon wiod, East Frisian wiud), of unknown origin. Meaning "tobacco" is from c.1600; that of "marijuana" is from 1920s.


"to clear the ground of weeds," late Old English weodian, from the source of weed (n.). Related: Weeded; weeding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for weed out



  1. (also the weed) Tobacco (1606+)
  2. A cigar, esp an inferior one: Throw that weed away and have a good one (1847+)
  3. (also the weed) A marijuana cigarette; joint (1920s+ Narcotics)

Related Terms


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with weed out

weed out

Eliminate as inferior, unsuited, or unwanted, as in She was asked to weed out the unqualified applicants. This expression transfers removing weeds from a garden to removing unwanted elements from other enterprises. [ First half of 1500s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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