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[weer] /wɪər/
a small dam in a river or stream.
a fence, as of brush or narrow boards, or a net set in a stream, channel, etc., for catching fish.
Origin of weir
before 900; Middle English were, Old English wer, derivative of root of werian to defend, dam up Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for weir
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The weir had been erected to pen the Chenook salmon from going further up-stream.

    American Notes Rudyard Kipling
  • What could make the river run at this pace—a weir—or a waterfall?

  • "Let me whisper in your ear," said Miss Desmond, loud above the chatter of the weir.

  • He yelled to me not to leave him, but the weir had give me my bearings, and I was bound for my power-boat.

    Cape Cod Stories Joseph C. Lincoln
  • One day lately, when the water was low, he offered to cross the weir at Dingleford.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
British Dictionary definitions for weir


a low dam that is built across a river to raise the water level, divert the water, or control its flow
a series of traps or enclosures placed in a stream to catch fish
Word Origin
Old English wer; related to Old Norse ver, Old Frisian were, German Wehr


Judith. born 1954, Scottish composer: her operas include A Night at the Chinese Opera (1987), and Armida (2005)
Peter. born 1944, Australian film director; his films include Dead Poets Society (1989), The Truman Show (1998), and Master and Commander (2003)
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 weir

Old English wer "dam, fence, enclosure," especially one for catching fish (related to werian "dam up"), from Proto-Germanic *warjanan (cf. Old Norse ver, Old Frisian and Middle Dutch were, Dutch weer, Old High German wari, German Wehr "defense, protection," Gothic warjan "to defend, protect"), from PIE *wer- "to cover, shut" (cf. Sanskrit vatah "enclosure," vrnoti "covers, wraps, shuts;" Lithuanian uzveriu "to shut, to close;" Old Persian *pari-varaka "protective;" Latin (op)erire "to cover;" Old Church Slavonic vora "sealed, closed," vreti "shut;" Old Irish feronn "field," properly "enclosed land").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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