[ ween ]
/ win /

verb (used with object)

to accustom (a child or young animal) to food other than its mother's milk; cause to lose the need to suckle or turn to the mother for food.
to withdraw (a person, the affections, one's dependency, etc.) from some object, habit, form of enjoyment, or the like: The need to reduce had weaned us from rich desserts.

Verb Phrases

wean on, to accustom to; to familiarize with from, or as if from, childhood: a brilliant student weaned on the classics; suburban kids weaned on rock music.

Origin of wean

before 1000; Middle English wenen, Old English wenian; cognate with Dutch wennen, German gewöhnen, Old Norse venja to accustom
Related formswean·ed·ness [wee-nid-nis, weend-] /ˈwi nɪd nɪs, ˈwind-/, nounpost·wean·ing, adjectivepre·wean·ing, adjectiveun·weaned, adjective
Can be confusedwean ween
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wean

British Dictionary definitions for wean (1 of 2)


/ (wiːn) /

verb (tr)

to cause (a child or young mammal) to replace mother's milk by other nourishment
(usually foll by from) to cause to desert former habits, pursuits, etc

Derived Formsweaning, noun

Word Origin for wean

Old English wenian to accustom; related to German gewöhnen to get used to

British Dictionary definitions for wean (2 of 2)


/ (weɪn, wiːn) /


Scot and Northern English dialect a child; infant

Word Origin for wean

a contraction of wee ane or perhaps a shortened form of weanling
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

Medicine definitions for wean


[ wēn ]


To deprive permanently of breast milk and begin to nourish with other food.
To accustom the young of a mammal to take nourishment other than by suckling.
To gradually withdraw from a life-support system.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.