weeds, mourning garments: widow's weeds.
a mourning band of black crepe or cloth, as worn on a man's hat or coat sleeve.
Often weeds. Archaic.
  1. a garment: clad in rustic weeds.
  2. clothing.

Origin of weed

before 900; Middle English wede, Old English wǣd, (ge)wǣde garment, clothing; cognate with Old Saxon wād, gewādi, Old High German wāt, gewāti clothing; cf. wadmal




a valueless plant growing wild, especially one that grows on cultivated ground to the exclusion or injury of the desired crop.
any undesirable or troublesome plant, especially one that grows profusely where it is not wanted: The vacant lot was covered with weeds.
Informal. a cigarette or cigar.
Slang. a marijuana cigarette.
a thin, ungainly person or animal.
a wretched or useless animal, especially a horse unfit for racing or breeding purposes.
the weed,
  1. Informal.tobacco.
  2. Slang.marijuana.

verb (used with object)

to free from weeds or troublesome plants; root out weeds from: to weed a garden.
to root out or remove (a weed or weeds), as from a garden (often followed by out): to weed out crab grass from a lawn.
to remove as being undesirable, inefficient, or superfluous (often followed by out): to weed out inexperienced players.
to rid (something) of undesirable or superfluous elements.

verb (used without object)

to remove weeds or the like.

Origin of weed

before 900; Middle English wede, Old English wēod; cognate with Old Saxon wiod weed, Middle Dutch wiet fern
Related formsweed·less, adjectiveweed·like, adjectiveun·weed·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for weeds

Contemporary Examples of weeds

Historical Examples of weeds

  • He could run a mower, and clean a pasture of weeds in a day.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • Michael and Uli had to hoe the weeds in the next field near by.

  • Sami squatted down and pulled at the weeds with all his might.

  • All through the middle ages suits of armour are called 'weeds.'



  • Caroline is the worst; the weeds, with her, have had longer time to get ahead.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

British Dictionary definitions for weeds


pl n

Also called: widow's weeds a widow's black mourning clothes
obsolete any clothing

Word Origin for weeds

pl of weed ²




any plant that grows wild and profusely, esp one that grows among cultivated plants, depriving them of space, food, etc
  1. the weedtobacco
  2. marijuana
informal a thin or unprepossessing person
an inferior horse, esp one showing signs of weakness of constitution


to remove (useless or troublesome plants) from (a garden, etc)
Derived Formsweeder, nounweedless, adjectiveweedlike, adjective

Word Origin for weed

Old English weod; related to Old Saxon wiod, Old High German wiota fern




rare a black crepe band worn to indicate mourningSee also weeds

Word Origin for weed

Old English wǣd, wēd; related to Old Saxon wād, Old High German wāt, Old Norse vāth
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 weeds

"garments" (now surviving, if at all, in widow's weeds), plural of archaic weed, from Old English wæd, wæde "garment, cloth," from Proto-Germanic *wedo (cf. Old Saxon wadi, Old Frisian wede "garment," Old Norse vað "cloth, texture," Old High German wat "garment"), probably from PIE *wedh-, extended form of root *au- "to weave." Archaic since early 19c.



"to clear the ground of weeds," late Old English weodian, from the source of weed (n.). Related: Weeded; weeding.



"plant not valued for use or beauty," Old English weod, uueod "grass, herb, weed," from Proto-Germanic *weud- (cf. Old Saxon wiod, East Frisian wiud), of unknown origin. Meaning "tobacco" is from c.1600; that of "marijuana" is from 1920s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper