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

The image of a tumbleweed rolling across a dusty Western expanse is as American as apple pie—but, of course, less palatable. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Monster Invasive Tumbleweed Is Outgrowing Its Parent Species," 9 Sep. 2019 And if the town itself doesn’t immediately call to mind images of High Noon or The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, the tumbleweed blowing through the streets and the soundtrack (complete with whistling!) certainly will. Dalton Ross, EW.com, "Watch Fear the Walking Dead go full-on Western," 14 June 2019 She's dabbled in everything from research on pelagic invertebrates to animations about beer to podcasts about fake tumbleweed farms. Rose Eveleth, Scientific American, "Your Employer May Be Spying on You—and Wasting Its Time," 16 Aug. 2019 Thursday morning’s remnants, the remaining slips of detritus fluttering through Manhattan like modern tumbleweeds, now provide the perfect metaphor. Jacob Feldman, SI.com, "The 2019 Sports On-Air All-Stars," 11 July 2019 Empty miles unfold along the highway, where tufts of tumbleweed gust by. Eric Ogden, Marie Claire, "The Invisible Victims," 10 June 2019 Before long, people were canning their meat to avoid starvation, eating them along with brined tumbleweed. Kevin Baker, Harper's magazine, "Where Our New World Begins," 10 May 2019 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

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

13 Oct 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

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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