verb (used with object)
  1. to determine or ascertain the force that gravitation exerts upon (a person or thing) by use of a balance, scale, or other mechanical device: to weigh oneself; to weigh potatoes; to weigh gases.
  2. to hold up or balance, as in the hand, in order to estimate the weight.
  3. to measure, separate, or apportion (a certain quantity of something) according to weight (usually followed by out): to weigh out five pounds of sugar.
  4. to make heavy; increase the weight or bulk of; weight: We weighed the drapes to make them hang properly.
  5. to evaluate in the mind; consider carefully in order to reach an opinion, decision, or choice: to weigh the facts; to weigh a proposal.
  6. Archaic. to raise, lift, or hoist (something).
  7. Obsolete. to think important; esteem.
verb (used without object)
  1. to have weight or a specified amount of weight: to weigh less; to weigh a ton.
  2. to have importance, moment, or consequence: Your recommendation weighs heavily in his favor.
  3. to bear down as a weight or burden (usually followed by on or upon): Responsibility weighed upon her.
  4. to consider carefully or judicially: to weigh well before deciding.
  5. (of a ship) to raise the anchor and get under way: The ship weighed early and escaped in the fog.
Verb Phrases
  1. weigh down,
    1. to cause to become bowed under a weight: snow and ice weighing down the trees.
    2. to lower the spirits of; burden; depress: This predicament weighs me down.
  2. weigh in,
    1. (of a boxer or wrestler) to be weighed by a medical examiner on the day of a bout.
    2. to be of the weight determined by such a weighing: He weighed in at 170 pounds.
    3. (of a jockey) to be weighed with the saddle and weights after a race.
    4. Informal.to offer an opinion, advice, support, etc., especially in a forceful or authoritative way: The chairman weighed in with an idea for the fundraiser.
  3. weigh out, Horse Racing. (of a jockey)
    1. to be weighed with the saddle and weights before a race.
    2. to be of the weight determined by such a weighing.
  1. weigh anchor, Nautical. to heave up a ship's anchor in preparation for getting under way.
  2. weigh one's words. word(def 29).

Origin of weigh

before 900; Middle English weghen, Old English wegan to carry, weigh; cognate with Dutch wegen, German wägen, Old Norse vega; akin to Latin vehere
Related formsweigh·a·ble, adjectiveweigh·er, nounun·weigh·a·ble, adjectiveun·weigh·ing, adjectivewell-weighed, adjective
Can be confusedway weigh weight

Synonyms for weigh

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for weigher

Historical Examples of weigher

British Dictionary definitions for weigher


  1. (tr) to measure the weight of
  2. (intr) to have weight or be heavyshe weighs more than her sister
  3. (tr often foll by out) to apportion according to weight
  4. (tr) to consider carefullyto weigh the facts of a case
  5. (intr) to be influentialhis words weighed little with the jury
  6. (intr often foll by on) to be oppressive or burdensome (to)
  7. obsolete to regard or esteem
  8. weigh anchor to raise a vessel's anchor or (of a vessel) to have its anchor raised preparatory to departure
Derived Formsweighable, adjectiveweigher, noun

Word Origin for weigh

Old English wegan; related to Old Frisian wega, Old Norse vega, Gothic gawigan, German wiegen


  1. under weigh a variant spelling of under way

Word Origin for weigh

C18: variation due to the influence of phrases such as to weigh anchor
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 weigher



Old English wegan "find the weight of, have weight, lift, carry," from Proto-Germanic *weganan (cf. Old Saxon wegan, Old Frisian wega, Dutch wegen "to weigh," Old Norse vega, Old High German wegan "to move, carry, weigh," German wiegen "to weigh"), from PIE *wegh- "to move" (cf. Sanskrit vahati "carries, conveys," vahitram "vessel, ship;" Avestan vazaiti "he leads, draws;" Greek okhos "carriage;" Latin vehere "to carry, convey;" Old Church Slavonic vesti "to carry, convey;" Lithuanian vezu "to carry, convey;" Old Irish fecht "campaign, journey").

The original sense was of motion, which led to that of lifting, then to that of "measure the weight of." The older sense of "lift, carry" survives in the nautical phrase weigh anchor. Figurative sense of "to consider, ponder" (in reference to words, etc.) is recorded from mid-14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper