awn

[ awn ]
/ ɔn /

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.

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

Related forms

awned, adjectiveawn·less, adjectiveun·awned, adjective
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Examples from the Web for awn

British Dictionary definitions for awn

awn

/ (ɔːn) /

noun

any of the bristles growing from the spikelets of certain grasses, including cereals

Derived Forms

awned, adjectiveawnless, adjective

Word Origin for awn

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

Science definitions for awn

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.