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awn

[awn]
noun Botany.
  1. a bristlelike appendage of a plant, especially on the glumes of grasses.
  2. such appendages collectively, as those forming the beard of wheat, barley, etc.
  3. 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
Related formsawned, adjectiveawn·less, adjectiveun·awned, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for awned

Historical Examples

  • All of them may be awned as in Chloris or only the fourth glume as in Andropogon.

    A Handbook of Some South Indian Grasses

    Rai Bahadur K. Ranga Achariyar

  • Agropyrum repens is also often awned and may be described here (see also p. 150).

    Grasses

    H. Marshall Ward

  • Stamens 10; anthers 2-celled, awned on the back, opening lengthwise.

  • Awned or Awn-pointed, furnished with an awn or long bristle-shaped tip, 54.

  • It is doubtful whether these should not be regarded as awned: if so they come near Nardus—see p. 130.

    Grasses

    H. Marshall Ward


British Dictionary definitions for awned

awn

noun
  1. any of the bristles growing from the spikelets of certain grasses, including cereals
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Derived Formsawned, adjectiveawnless, adjective

Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for awned

awn

n.

"bristly fibers on grain of plants," c.1300, from Old Norse ögn, from Proto-Germanic *agano (cf. Old English egenu, Old High German agana, German Ahne, Gothic ahana), from PIE *ak-ona- (cf. Sanskrit asani- "arrowhead," Greek akhne "husk of wheat," Latin acus "chaff," Lithuanian akuotas "beard, awn"); suffixed form of PIE root *ak- "sharp" (see acrid).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

awned in Science

awn

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