reed

[ reed ]
/ rid /

noun

verb (used with object)

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Idioms for reed

    a broken reed, a person or thing too frail or weak to be relied on for support: Under stress he showed himself to be a broken reed.

Origin of reed

before 900; Middle English; Old English hrēod; cognate with German, Dutch riet

OTHER WORDS FROM reed

reed·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for broken reed (1 of 2)

reed
/ (riːd) /

noun

verb (tr)

to fashion into or supply with reeds or reeding
to thatch using reeds

Word Origin for reed

Old English hreod; related to Old Saxon hriod, Old High German hriot

British Dictionary definitions for broken reed (2 of 2)

Reed
/ (riːd) /

noun

Sir Carol . 1906–76, English film director. His films include The Third Man (1949), An Outcast of the Islands (1951), and Oliver! (1968), for which he won an Oscar
Lou . born 1942, US rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist: member of the Velvet Underground (1965–70). His albums include Transformer (1972), Berlin (1973), Street Hassle (1978), New York (1989), Set the Twilight Reeling (1996), and The Raven (2003)
Walter . 1851–1902, US physician, who proved that yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes (1900)
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

Medical definitions for broken reed

Reed
[ rēd ]
Walter 1851-1902

American surgeon who led the commission that proved experimentally that yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for broken reed

Reed
[ rēd ]
Walter 1851-1902

American physician and army surgeon who proved in 1900 that yellow fever was transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. His research led to the mosquito eradication programs carried out by William Gorgas that virtually eradicated yellow fever from Havana, Cuba, and from the Panama Canal Zone.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for broken reed

reed

A thin piece of wood or plastic used in many woodwind instruments. It vibrates when the player holds it in the mouth and blows over it (as with a single reed) or through it (as with a double reed). Clarinets and saxophones use a single reed; bassoons and oboes use a double reed.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with broken reed (1 of 2)

broken reed

A weak or unreliable support, as in I'd counted on her to help, but she turned out to be a broken reed. The idea behind this idiom, first recorded about 1593, was already present in a mid-15th-century translation of a Latin tract, “Trust not nor lean not upon a windy reed.”

Idioms and Phrases with broken reed (2 of 2)

reed

see broken reed.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.