Definition of weed in English:



  • 1A wild plant growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants.

    ‘keep the seedlings clear of weeds’
    • ‘The best time to eliminate weeds and grass is the season before you plan to plant your garden.’
    • ‘It doesn't look at if it's been used for some time, as a small jungle of bushes, nettles and weeds have grown up around it.’
    • ‘This will help prevent weeds from growing, and additionally will feed your soil slowly over time.’
    • ‘Write down which plants were infected with diseases and where the weeds grew most.’
    • ‘Spread wheat straw mulch over your garden in February to keep weeds at bay.’
    • ‘Honeysuckle will quickly cover everything in its path, choking out weeds as it grows.’
    • ‘Mike already has a layer of wood chip mulch in place around his plants to keep down weeds and conserve moisture.’
    • ‘Raised on a farm in the eastern part of North Carolina, Jo grew up pulling weeds in her mother's cutting garden.’
    • ‘But Mr Merritt said horsetail could be a troublesome weed in any crop.’
    • ‘There are several small varieties that grow wild as weeds in North America.’
    • ‘Typically, herbicides are applied only to the strip of ground directly under the vine, and weeds growing between the rows are controlled by cultivation or mowing.’
    • ‘Nests are open cups made of weeds, grass, plant fibers, and moss, with a lining of fur and feathers.’
    • ‘Given the right conditions many will grow like weeds, seeding freely around.’
    • ‘Clear all the weeds and grass from the area you intend to cover to prevent them from growing up through the mulch.’
    • ‘Just like our garden plants, weeds have certain preferences for growing conditions.’
    • ‘They hide during the day under mulch, plant debris, rocks, boards, weeds, and ground covers.’
    • ‘He says that the group had been working hard to improve the area around the sawmill dam by tackling the jungle of weeds, brambles and nettles that had grown up through years of neglect.’
    • ‘A site that will not grow other plants and weeds or has some type of soil problem will probably not be ideal for wildflowers.’
    • ‘The courtyard is cluttered with potted plants, half of them dead or dying, with weeds growing around the pots and covering most of the small yard.’
    • ‘The lawn was well-kept, but still a bit wild, with weeds and poorly pruned brushes lining the walkway up the hill.’
    1. 1.1mass noun Any wild plant growing in salt or fresh water.
      ‘at the far side of the beach the rocks began, some humped with brown weed’
      • ‘This weed can grow in ten to fifteen feet of water or more from top to bottom and seems to be impossible to fish in.’
      • ‘The west bank is more sandy and shallow with weed growing, and the opposite bank more rocky and deeper.’
      • ‘From a distance, this appears to be the mottled brown of old brick, but as I get closer I see that there is a coating of fine brown weed.’
      • ‘But, no, they just sat deep in the bottom, sheltering under the great mass of oxygenating weed that's grown from three strands in less than a year, and gulped.’
      • ‘Aquatic weeds have also grown to epidemic proportions.’
      • ‘The weed impedes water's natural flow and can destroy native communities of aquatic plants and animals.’
      • ‘It has been listed as one of the 100 worst invasive alien species in the world, and it is considered the second most serious weed in the South Pacific.’
      • ‘There's plenty of weed growing around them, and although not particularly pleasant to look at, among its folds you will see plenty of hovering juvenile pike.’
      • ‘I woke to find Graham out in the garden carrying out some much needed maintenance on the fish pond, topping it up with fresh water and pulling out some weed.’
      • ‘Move over hydrilla, there's a bigger, meaner invasive aquatic weed in town.’
      • ‘By now summer is under way, the weed is growing and all species of fish are feeding well.’
      • ‘At the moment there is deeper water and reasonable floating weed cover in one area, so the Jacanas have not left.’
      • ‘If more effort were put into ensuring rivers and watercourses were properly dredged and cleared of weed and vegetation, it might have helped to contain the water, he said.’
    2. 1.2informal mass noun Cannabis.
      • ‘It went on like that for a few months until it got to the point where we were truanting from school every day and smoking weed.’
      • ‘By no means am I condoning the use of any drug; I'm just trying to get you to realise that there are far worse things than smoking a bit of weed.’
      • ‘She is in her sixties, and without smoking weed, she has difficulty moving.’
      • ‘It was very refreshing to walk into coffee shops, buy some weed, borrow their bong and sit down and have a nice smoke.’
      • ‘He never touched weed, cocaine or anything else.’
      • ‘I stopped smoking weed after that for a couple of months and started to get drunk again.’
      • ‘For one, the average youth doesn't see smoking weed as a ‘rebellion’ against society any more.’
      • ‘99% of the people I know have tried or smoke weed and not one is an addict on any other drug.’
      • ‘I had no trouble stopping taking weed and after one farewell joint, gave up.’
      • ‘Still who needs weed when you've got coffee and nicotine?’
      • ‘Last night, I also smoked weed for the first time in a year.’
      • ‘All the research means very little when a large proportion of the population have decided that they like to smoke a bit of weed.’
      • ‘Had he not supplied weed, none of us would ever have spoken to him.’
      • ‘On Villa Road there are kids selling crack, weed and cocaine.’
      • ‘The chap sat next to us had black glasses on and was smoking weed.’
      • ‘You may have heard it called marijuana, weed or hash but it is still cannabis, a natural drug that comes from a plant.’
      • ‘I know absolutely no heroin addicts and I know plenty of people who smoke weed.’
      • ‘But at the point where most of my friends went from weed or hash to LSD or ecstasy, I stopped smoking.’
      • ‘I suppose when you're out of your mind on cheap cider, homegrown weed and crack cocaine you might enjoy muck like that.’
      • ‘The way I see it is this: lots of people say that smoking weed, or whatever you want to call it, leads to stronger drugs.’
    3. 1.3the weedinformal Tobacco.
      ‘smokers are advised to eat more fruit, as the weed can increase the risk of gastric cancer’
      • ‘Do addicts of the demon weed, tobacco, experience increased pleasure from life as a result of smoking tobacco?’
      • ‘But the first time these two came into contact with each other, they had to share the spotlight with, yes, the weed, tobacco.’
  • 2British informal A contemptibly feeble person.

    ‘he thought party games were for weeds and wets’
    • ‘‘Well, some thought he was a bit of a weed, but he doesn't come around anymore,’ he quipped.’
    • ‘‘I have always been a bit of a weed, to be honest, and I am always being told to try weight training and go to a gym,’ he said.’
    coward, weakling, milksop, milquetoast, namby-pamby, crybaby, baby
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  • 3informal A leggy, loosely built horse.

    ‘my tiny bay weed could jump like a stag’


  • 1Remove unwanted plants from (an area of ground)

    ‘I was weeding a flower bed’
    • ‘There would be no cane planted, weeded, cut, or ground without some form of compliance from the workers themselves.’
    • ‘Then today I was weeding the bed in front of my house and lifted a mop of variegated grass to see a toad looking at me from a hollow he'd made in the shade of my porch.’
    • ‘She weeded fastidiously, removing the plants and roots before they came to maturity, and preparing compost from them.’
    • ‘The girls have weeded a neighbor's yard, done some dog sitting and worked at extra chores around the house.’
    • ‘Fields are generally tiny, and you sometimes see a man ploughing one with a tractor, or a woman weeding one with a mattock.’
    • ‘I weeded the garden and picked produce for Jan to take to the Saturday market when she returned.’
    • ‘They were also asking businesses, shops, etc to weed the area outside their premises every morning.’
    • ‘The group cleared and cleaned the pond, weeded the area, pruned the shrubs, fertilised the soil and planted out bedding plants.’
    • ‘Once an area is weeded, a deep mulch will go some way towards stopping weeds from reappearing.’
    • ‘She weeded my front garden and helped me put up the rotary washing line in the back garden.’
    • ‘She would be out milking the cows, nipping the turnips, weeding the carrots.’
    • ‘After planting, each plot was weeded periodically.’
    • ‘Maureen planted many colourful plants, weeded, clipped and pruned the area so that it was a delight to the eye at Easter.’
    • ‘Women and children plant, weed, and harvest most food crops.’
    • ‘Any time spent weeding this month will save twice as much time later in the season.’
    • ‘The students were involved in weeding a section of the land, before replanting natural plants and trees.’
    • ‘For best crops, weed and water regularly and consistently.’
    • ‘As we weeded the lettuce patch one day recently, you took satisfaction in likening us to a pair of police getting rid of bad guys.’
    • ‘I'd worked through worse weather weeding the fields and it wasn't that cold.’
    • ‘Weeding the entire garden would take a single person hours, if not days.’
  • 2weed someone/something outRemove an inferior or unwanted component of a group or collection.

    ‘we must raise the level of research and weed out the poorest work’
    • ‘Through rigorous screening - and I mean rigorous - and gut instinct, you can weed these people out.’
    • ‘Of course there is no easy way of weeding them out.’
    • ‘Incompetent and dangerous laboratories would be weeded out and further tragedies like these minimized.’
    • ‘Sure, some people will waste time with it, but a company should be able to figure out who's not doing their job properly and weed them out.’
    • ‘As Sheehan notes, there's a reason why Eisenhower was so intolerant of failure and so ruthless about weeding it out.’
    • ‘All moderating influences within the party have been weeded out.’
    • ‘Corruption is something that has to be weeded out of our system.’
    • ‘It would also fund the hiring of 10,000 new Department of Homeland Security personnel dedicated to weeding illegal immigrants out of the workforce and an additional 1,000 for detecting immigration fraud.’
    • ‘Lynch says that while some agencies are badly run, he makes checks to ensure unsuitable candidates are weeded out.’
    • ‘And they have applauded the role of the local community in helping the police to weed out the troublemakers.’
    isolate, separate out, set apart, put to one side, divide, segregate, sort out, sift out, winnow out, filter out, sieve
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Old English wēod (noun), wēodian (verb), of unknown origin; related to Dutch wieden (verb).