verb (used with object)


    by weight, according to measurement of heaviness or mass: Rates are determined by weight.
    carry weight, to have importance or significance; influence: Her opinion is certain to carry weight.
    pull one's weight, to contribute one's rightful share of work to a project or job: We will finish in time if we each pull our weight.Also pull one's own weight.
    throw one's weight around/about, to use one's power and influence, especially beyond the bounds of propriety, to secure some personal gain.

Origin of weight

before 1000; Middle English (noun); Old English wiht (cognate with Dutch wicht, German Gewicht); see weigh1, -th1
Related formsweight·er, nounself-weight, noun
Can be confusedwait weightway weigh weight

Synonyms for weight

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

Examples from the Web for weight

Contemporary Examples of weight

Historical Examples of weight

  • The whole rested on a golden image of Atlas, bending beneath the weight.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • At first the solid blackness seemed to lay a weight on their foreheads.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • Their weight was too great not to count, but it counted first this way and then that.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • First he shifted to one foot, and then he shifted his weight to the other.

  • It squeaked under his weight, he felt the rungs bow and tremble.

British Dictionary definitions for weight



a measure of the heaviness of an object; the amount anything weighs
physics the vertical force experienced by a mass as a result of gravitation. It equals the mass of the body multiplied by the acceleration of free fall. Its units are units of force (such as newtons or poundals) but is often given as a mass unit (kilogram or pound)Symbol: W
a system of units used to express the weight of a substancetroy weight
a unit used to measure weightthe kilogram is the weight used in the metric system
any mass or heavy object used to exert pressure or weigh down
an oppressive forcethe weight of cares
any heavy loadthe bag was such a weight
the main or greatest force: preponderancethe weight of evidence
importance, influence, or consequencehis opinion carries weight
statistics one of a set of coefficients assigned to items of a frequency distribution that are analysed in order to represent the relative importance of the different items
printing the apparent blackness of a printed typeface
slang a pound of a drug, esp cannabis
pull one's weight informal to do one's full or proper share of a task
throw one's weight around informal to act in an overauthoritarian or aggressive manner

verb (tr)

to add weight to
to burden or oppress
to add importance, value, etc, to one side rather than another; bias; favoura law weighted towards landlords
statistics to attach a weight or weights to
to make (fabric, threads, etc) heavier by treating with mineral substances, etc
Derived Formsweighter, noun

Word Origin for weight

Old English wiht; related to Old Frisian, Middle Dutch wicht, Old Norse vētt, German Gewicht
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 weight

Old English gewiht, from Proto-Germanic *(ga)wekhtiz, *(ga)wekhtjan (cf. Old Norse vætt, Old Frisian wicht, Middle Dutch gewicht, German Gewicht), from *weg- (see weigh). The verb meaning "to load with weight" is attested from 1747; sense in statistics is recorded from 1901. To lose weight "get thinner" is recorded from 1961. Weight Watcher as a trademark name dates from 1960. To pull one's weight (1921) is from rowing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

weight in Medicine




The force with which a body is attracted to Earth or another celestial body and which is equal to the product of the object's mass and the acceleration of gravity.
A measure of the heaviness of an object.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

weight in Science



The force with which an object near the Earth or another celestial body is attracted toward the center of the body by gravity. An object's weight depends on its mass and the strength of the gravitational pull. The weight of an object in an aircraft flying at high altitude is less than its weight at sea level, since the strength of gravity decreases with increasing distance from the Earth's surface. The SI unit of weight is the newton, though units of mass such as grams or kilograms are used more informally to denote the weight of some mass, understood as the force acting on it in a gravitational field with a strength of one G. The pound is also still used as a unit of weight.
A system of such measures, such as avoirdupois weight or troy weight.
Usage: Although most hand-held calculators can translate pounds into kilograms, an absolute conversion factor between these two units is not technically sound. A pound is a unit of force, and a kilogram is a unit of mass. When the unit pound is used to indicate the force that a gravitational field exerts on a mass, the pound is a unit of weight. Mistaking weight for mass is tantamount to confusing the electric charges on two objects with the forces of attraction (or repulsion) between them. Like charge, the mass of an object is an intrinsic property of that object: electrons have a unique mass, protons have a unique mass, and some particles, such as photons, have no mass. Weight, on the other hand, is a force due to the gravitational attraction between two bodies. For example, one's weight on the Moon is 16 of one's weight on Earth. Nevertheless, one's mass on the Moon is identical to one's mass on Earth. The reason that hand-held calculators can translate between units of weight and units of mass is that the majority of us use calculators on the planet Earth at sea level, where the conversion factor is constant for all practical purposes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

weight in Culture


The force exerted on any object by gravity.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with weight


see by weight; carry weight; dead weight; pull one's weight; put on weight; throw one's weight around; worth one's weight in gold;

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.