[ awn ]
/ ɔn /
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noun Botany.

a bristlelike appendage of a plant, especially on the glumes of grasses.
such appendages collectively, as those forming the beard of wheat, barley, etc.
any similar bristle.



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Origin of awn

1250–1300; Middle English aw(u)n, agune, agene, probably <Scandinavian; compare Old Norse ǫgn,Old Danish aghn husk; replacing and cognate with Old English ægnan; cognate with Gothic ahana,Old High German agana (German Agen, Ahne), Dutch, Frisian agen; OL agna ear of grain, Czech osina awn; Greek ákaina thorn, bristle, ákhnē chaff (< a pre-Hellenic substratum language); <Indo-European *Haeḱ- sharp
awned, adjectiveawnless, adjectiveun·awned, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for awn

/ (ɔːn) /


any of the bristles growing from the spikelets of certain grasses, including cereals
awned, adjectiveawnless, adjective
Old English agen ear of grain; related to Old Norse ögn chaff, Gothic ahana, Old High German agana, Greek akōn javelin
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

Scientific definitions for awn

[ ôn ]

A slender, bristlelike appendage found on the spikelets of many grasses.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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