• synonyms


verb (used with or without object) Archaic.
  1. to think; suppose.
  2. to expect, hope, or intend.
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Origin of ween

before 900; Middle English wenen, Old English wēnan to expect; cognate with German wähnen to imagine, Old Norse væna, Gothic wēnjan to hope, expect
Related formsun·weened, adjective
Can be confusedwean ween
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ween

Historical Examples of ween

  • Brave banqueting I ween to-night for all that goodly company.


    Benjamin Disraeli

  • But when Slingsby saw the water,   Somewhat pale, I ween, was he.

    The Bon Gaultier Ballads

    William Edmonstoune Aytoun

  • And she that longs to see, I ween, is as desirous to be seen.

    Wit and Wisdom of Don Quixote

    Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

  • The fiery scenes of the forum did not ween him from his family.

    Robert Toombs

    Pleasant A. Stovall

  • That day I write of, little did I ween what her end would be.

British Dictionary definitions for ween


  1. archaic to think or imagine (something)
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Word Origin for ween

Old English wēnan; related to Old Saxon wānian, Gothic wēnjan, German wähnen to assume wrongly
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 ween


Old English wenan "to think," from Proto-Germanic *woenijanan (cf. Old Saxon wanian, Old Norse væna, Old Frisian wena, Old High German wanen, German wähnen, Gothic wenjan "to expect, suppose, think"), from *woeniz "expectation," from PIE root *wen- "to wish, desire, strive for" (see Venus). Archaic since 17c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper