tum·​ble·​weed | \ ˈtəm-bəl-ˌwēd How to pronounce tumbleweed (audio) \

Definition of tumbleweed

: 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

Desert Dreamin’ ✨ a first look at the master bedroom at #thatdeserthouse 🌵🏠 where’s my tumbleweed emoji?!? Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "That Instagram-Famous Joshua Tree Home is Finally on Airbnb," 8 Mar. 2019 Untangling the tumbleweed of twinkle lights was like tiptoeing back in time. Al Kemp, The Seattle Times, "How I came to grips with a downsized Christmas," 12 Dec. 2018 The two ride, hang onto and smoothly clamber over the sculptural apparatus as if on an aerodynamic jungle-gym, one that moves with the grace of a tumbleweed. Robert Greskovic, WSJ, "Momix Partners Dance With Illusion," 30 July 2018 Verde Valley, Arizona Arizona might bring to mind cacti, tumbleweeds and sandstorms, but the elevation and arid climate of Arizona’s Verde Valley are surprisingly grape-friendly. Todd Plummer, Vogue, "Beyond Napa: 7 Emerging American Wine Regions to Visit Now," 29 Aug. 2018 True, tumbleweeds roll across the desert, and many bacteria move themselves through fluids by spinning whip-like appendages, but these are not good choices for negotiating the unpredictable ruggedness of land. Charles S. Cockell, WSJ, "The Limits of Extra-Terrestrial Freakiness," 7 June 2018 Can the system distinguish a tumbleweed from a toddler? Aarian Marshall And Alex Davies, WIRED, "Uber's Self-Driving Car Saw the Woman It Killed, Report Says," 24 May 2018 For the past few decades, the tumbleweed town has been owned by members of a single family. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Historic California Ghost Town Is Up For Sale," 16 June 2018 This is then analyzed by artificial intelligence that is trained to detect the difference between a tumbleweed, car, coyote, or human based on gait and other factors. Shoshana Wodinsky, The Verge, "Palmer Luckey’s border control tech has already caught dozens of people," 11 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tumbleweed.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tumbleweed

1858, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for tumbleweed

Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for tumbleweed

The first known use of tumbleweed was in 1858

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English Language Learners Definition of tumbleweed

: a plant found especially in the North American desert that breaks away from its roots and is blown across the ground by the wind


tum·​ble·​weed | \ ˈtəm-bəl-ˌwēd How to pronounce tumbleweed (audio) \

Kids Definition of tumbleweed

: a plant that breaks away from its roots in autumn and tumbles about in the wind

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More from Merriam-Webster on tumbleweed

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tumbleweed

Nglish: Translation of tumbleweed for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tumbleweed

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