• synonyms


  1. any plant of the genus Stellaria, of the pink family, as S. media, a common Old World weed whose leaves and seeds are relished by birds.
  2. any of various allied plants.
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Origin of chickweed

First recorded in 1325–75, chickweed is from the Middle English word chiken wede. See chick, weed1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for chickweed

Historical Examples of chickweed

  • The branched fibrous root, as that of the Chickweed and Grasses.

    Field and Woodland Plants

    William S. Furneaux

  • Chickweed must be sowne in February or March, in the full of the Moone.

  • It feeds, in July and early August, on chickweed (Stellaria media).

  • It feeds on dock, chickweed, groundsel, and other low plants.

  • I could see groundsel and chickweed, and others that I did not know.

British Dictionary definitions for chickweed


  1. any of various caryophyllaceous plants of the genus Stellaria, esp S. media, a common garden weed with small white flowers
  2. mouse-ear chickweed any of various similar and related plants of the genus Cerastium
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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 chickweed


late 14c., chekwede, from chick + weed (n.). In Old English it was cicene mete "chicken food."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper