- to determine or ascertain the force that gravitation exerts upon (a person or thing) by use of a balance, scale, or other mechanical device: to weigh oneself; to weigh potatoes; to weigh gases.
- to hold up or balance, as in the hand, in order to estimate the weight.
- to measure, separate, or apportion (a certain quantity of something) according to weight (usually followed by out): to weigh out five pounds of sugar.
- to make heavy; increase the weight or bulk of; weight: We weighed the drapes to make them hang properly.
- to evaluate in the mind; consider carefully in order to reach an opinion, decision, or choice: to weigh the facts; to weigh a proposal.
- Archaic. to raise, lift, or hoist (something).
- Obsolete. to think important; esteem.
- to have weight or a specified amount of weight: to weigh less; to weigh a ton.
- to have importance, moment, or consequence: Your recommendation weighs heavily in his favor.
- to bear down as a weight or burden (usually followed by on or upon): Responsibility weighed upon her.
- to consider carefully or judicially: to weigh well before deciding.
- (of a ship) to raise the anchor and get under way: The ship weighed early and escaped in the fog.
- weigh down,
- to cause to become bowed under a weight: snow and ice weighing down the trees.
- to lower the spirits of; burden; depress: This predicament weighs me down.
- weigh in,
- (of a boxer or wrestler) to be weighed by a medical examiner on the day of a bout.
- to be of the weight determined by such a weighing: He weighed in at 170 pounds.
- (of a jockey) to be weighed with the saddle and weights after a race.
- Informal.to offer an opinion, advice, support, etc., especially in a forceful or authoritative way: The chairman weighed in with an idea for the fundraiser.
- weigh out, Horse Racing. (of a jockey)
- to be weighed with the saddle and weights before a race.
- to be of the weight determined by such a weighing.
- weigh anchor, Nautical. to heave up a ship's anchor in preparation for getting under way.
- weigh one's words. word(def 29).
Origin of weigh1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- (adverb) to press (a person) down by or as if by weighthis troubles weighed him down
- (tr) to measure the weight of
- (intr) to have weight or be heavyshe weighs more than her sister
- (tr often foll by out) to apportion according to weight
- (tr) to consider carefullyto weigh the facts of a case
- (intr) to be influentialhis words weighed little with the jury
- (intr often foll by on) to be oppressive or burdensome (to)
- obsolete to regard or esteem
- weigh anchor to raise a vessel's anchor or (of a vessel) to have its anchor raised preparatory to departure
- under weigh a variant spelling of under way
Word Origin and History for weigh down
Old English wegan "find the weight of, have weight, lift, carry," from Proto-Germanic *weganan (cf. Old Saxon wegan, Old Frisian wega, Dutch wegen "to weigh," Old Norse vega, Old High German wegan "to move, carry, weigh," German wiegen "to weigh"), from PIE *wegh- "to move" (cf. Sanskrit vahati "carries, conveys," vahitram "vessel, ship;" Avestan vazaiti "he leads, draws;" Greek okhos "carriage;" Latin vehere "to carry, convey;" Old Church Slavonic vesti "to carry, convey;" Lithuanian vezu "to carry, convey;" Old Irish fecht "campaign, journey").
The original sense was of motion, which led to that of lifting, then to that of "measure the weight of." The older sense of "lift, carry" survives in the nautical phrase weigh anchor. Figurative sense of "to consider, ponder" (in reference to words, etc.) is recorded from mid-14c.
Idioms and Phrases with weigh down
Burden, oppress, as in Their problems have weighed them down. This expression transfers bowing under a physical weight to emotional burdens. [c. 1600]