tum·​ble·​weed ˈtəm-bəl-ˌwēd How to pronounce tumbleweed (audio)
: a plant (such as Russian thistle or any of several amaranths) that breaks away from its roots in the autumn and is driven about by the wind as a light rolling mass

Examples of tumbleweed in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web About a 30-minute drive from Phoenix in Downtown Chandler — and a quirky area tradition since 1957 — the community centerpiece is, quite literally, a pile of nearly 1,000 tumbleweeds formed into a tree shape, sprayed with white paint, dusted with 65 pounds of glitter, and adorned with 1,200 lights. Travel + Leisure Editors, Travel + Leisure, 8 Sep. 2023 There’s even the occasional burning tire that rolls across the industrial landscape like tumbleweed. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 16 Aug. 2023 Flopping pervades the playoffs like tumbleweeds on a dusty desert plain. Kurt Streeter, New York Times, 1 June 2023 But along the way, readers discover that tumbleweed was transported from Europe, black-eyed peas arrived aboard slave ships, and both gardens and children need patience and grace. Maisie Sparks, The Christian Science Monitor, 30 May 2023 Coachella Music and Arts Festival, for example, was first held in 1999, drawing in Southern Californian festival-goers who brought their beach aesthetic to the tumbleweeds. Skyler Caruso, Peoplemag, 26 May 2023 Occasionally, the narrative threatens to sag under the weight of all this stuff; questions about Mommy’s double, for instance, breeze by unexplained like so many tumbleweeds. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 May 2023 At the bottom of the basin the Husqvarna had enough power to roll that nasty mess into a large tumbleweed for easy disposal. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, 25 Apr. 2023 But Feldman said that attendance at the festival has already reached 30,000 — an incredible feat when tumbleweeds seem to be blowing across the Music Center. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 5 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tumbleweed.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1858, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tumbleweed was in 1858

Dictionary Entries Near tumbleweed

Cite this Entry

“Tumbleweed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tumbleweed. Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


tum·​ble·​weed ˈtəm-bəl-ˌwēd How to pronounce tumbleweed (audio)
: a plant that breaks away from its roots in autumn and is blown about by the wind

More from Merriam-Webster on tumbleweed

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!