awn

noun \ ˈȯn \

Definition of awn

: one of the slender bristles that terminate the glumes of the spikelet in some cereal and other grasses

awned

play \ˈȯnd\ adjective

awnless

play \ˈȯn-ləs\ adjective

Origin and Etymology of awn

Middle English awne, going back to late Old English agene (accusative plural) "awns," Old English ægnan (plural) "chaff, sweepings," going back to Germanic *aganō-, *ahanō (whence also Old High German agana "awn, chaff, straw," Old Norse ǫgn, plural agnar "chaff, husks," Gothic ahana "chaff"), going back to Indo-European *h2eḱ-on- (whence also Old Prussian ackons "awn" and perhaps Latin agna "ear of grain," Greek akont-, ákōn "javelin, dart"), derivative of *h2eḱ- "sharp, pointed" — more at 1edge
Note: Middle English awne may reflect a borrowing from Old Norse, with the Old English word continued by dialectal [e:nz] (Lancashire, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire; see Clive Upton, et al., Survey of English Dialects: The Dictionary and Grammar, Routledge, 1994).


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