Definition of tumbleweed in US English:



North American, Australian, NZ
  • A plant of dry regions that breaks off near the ground in late summer and is tumbled about by the wind, thereby dispersing its seeds.

    Genera Salsola (family Chenopodiaceae) and Amaranthus (family Amaranthaceae)

    • ‘Had I been in the Wild West, the saloon doors would have swung with an eerie creak; tumbleweed would have blown past.’
    • ‘Streets devoid of any sign of human life had been taken over by swirling rubbish, rolling through city centres like tumbleweed in an old ghost town.’
    • ‘If Australia had tumbleweed, it would be blowing down Olympic Boulevard right now.’
    • ‘Charles half expected to hear at once sharp cracks of sticks and tumbleweed, to which he would coax himself were just tree squirrels, or other creatures.’
    • ‘Is there tumbleweed blowing down the main street.’
    • ‘There wasn't any tumbleweed.’
    • ‘The town looked like any deserted town, all boarded windows with a shutter or two clanging in the wind, various pieces of litter around, and a tumbleweed breezing past.’
    • ‘A lonely plastic bag made it's way like tumbleweed down the vacant street.’
    • ‘I could've sworn that I saw tumbleweed blowing across the newly waxed marble floor.’
    • ‘A tumbleweed floats by.’
    • ‘Is that tumbleweed I see, billowing past the bar?’
    • ‘She caught a couple of rats and I roasted them over some burning tumbleweed.’
    • ‘Her eyes fell on some dried tumbleweed about a mile away, and she half-watched it roll lazily across the desert.’
    • ‘To soldiers, every broken-down car is a potential bomb; every tumbleweed may disguise an artillery shell set to explode.’
    • ‘He enters the classroom in a blinding heavenly light, to the accompaniment of whistling winds and rolling tumbleweed that usually accompanies Clint Eastwood in a spaghetti western.’
    • ‘Even tumbleweed can't go on blowing down dusty streets for ever.’
    • ‘Silence reigned but for tumbleweed passing through and then the sound of a far-off wolf howling.’
    • ‘They can become ghost towns with the metaphorical tumbleweed bouncing past the shuttered restaurants.’
    • ‘Alas, when we checked into the virtual village, all we could find was some virtual tumbleweed blowing across the square.’
    • ‘At some times of day I half expect to see tumbleweed drifting around the sterile, impersonal, weird space that has been falsely created.’