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[ween] /win/
verb (used with or without object), Archaic.
to think; suppose.
to expect, hope, or intend.
Origin of ween
before 900; Middle English wenen, Old English wēnan to expect; cognate with German wähnen to imagine, Old Norse væna, Gothic wēnjan to hope, expect
Related forms
unweened, adjective
Can be confused
wean, ween. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for weened
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She weened himself had done it, / and all unaided he, Nor wot she one far mightier / was thither come so secretly.

  • Who would have weened that, thou that hast been to me so dear?

    Britain in the Middle Ages Florence L. Bowman
  • This Solomon had an evil wife, wherethrough he weened that there had been no good women, and so he despised them in his books.

    Chronicle and Romance (The Harvard Classics Series) Jean Froissart, Thomas Malory, Raphael Holinshed
  • They weened that he had conquered / in trial by his proper might.

  • He weened that by some foemen / to him had injury been done.

  • She weened to save the hero, / yet wrought she nothing save his bane.

  • He weened to find his bow or his sword, and then had Hagen been repaid as he deserved.

  • He weened that Ruediger knowing / had warned what lay for them in store.

  • And then Sir Launcelot drew his sword, for he felt himself so sore y-hurt that he weened there to have had his death.

British Dictionary definitions for weened


(archaic) to think or imagine (something)
Word Origin
Old English wēnan; related to Old Saxon wānian, Gothic wēnjan, German wähnen to assume wrongly
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 weened



Old English wenan "to think," from Proto-Germanic *woenijanan (cf. Old Saxon wanian, Old Norse væna, Old Frisian wena, Old High German wanen, German wähnen, Gothic wenjan "to expect, suppose, think"), from *woeniz "expectation," from PIE root *wen- "to wish, desire, strive for" (see Venus). Archaic since 17c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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