One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A stiff bristle, especially one of those growing from the ear or flower of barley, rye, and many grasses.
- ‘Phenotypic traits include barbed lemmas, small sterile lateral spikelets, short glume awns, narrow leaves, semismooth awns, and long rachilla hairs.’
- ‘Notably lacking are spikelet fragments, chaff, awns, pods, and weed seeds that comprise the debris from processing such crops for storage or from using dung as fuel.’
- ‘Such traits include a long awn; short, thick grains; photoperiod sensitivity; and low productivity.’
- ‘Periodically inspecting your dog for fleas, ticks, grass awns and barbs is also a good idea.’
- ‘Just before the fruit matures, it changes from green to brown and the awns separate from the central axis to disperse the seeds.’
Old English, from Old Norse ǫgn; related to Swedish agn, Danish avn.
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