\ ˈwēn How to pronounce wean (audio) \
weaned; weaning; weans

Definition of wean

transitive verb

1 : to accustom (a young child or animal) to take food otherwise than by nursing
2 : to detach from a source of dependence being weaned off the medication wean the bears from human foodSports Illus. also : to free from a usually unwholesome habit or interest wean him off his excessive drinking settling his soldiers on the land …  , weaning them from habits of violence — Geoffrey Carnall
3 : to accustom to something from an early age used in the passive especially with on students weaned on the Internet for researchI was weaned on greasepaint— Helen Hayesthe principles upon which he had been weaned— J. A. Michener

Examples of wean in a Sentence

The calves are weaned at an early age.

Recent Examples on the Web

Analysts have long urged Germany to wean itself off its export-dependence. The Economist, "Germany’s economy is now shrinking," 15 Aug. 2019 And many addiction specialists, insurers and state legislatures are suspicious of treatments that use prescription opiates to wean people off illicit opioids. Melissa Healystaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "With opioid abuse surging, expert panel recommends drug screening for all U.S. adults," 13 Aug. 2019 Any pandas born in the country the are loaned to, including Meng Meng’s twins, have to be sent back to China four years after they have been weaned from their mothers, The Guardian reported. Georgia Slater, PEOPLE.com, "Berlin Zoo Panda Expecting 1 Cub Delivers Twins, Marking First Zoo Panda Birth in Germany," 4 Sep. 2019 Of course, few countries have the human and financial resources—and political will—to develop cutting-edge technological capabilities needed to wean themselves from American companies. Gwynn Guilford, Quartz, "Trump’s war on Huawei risks hobbling US innovation," 20 July 2019 Barium is a mineral in breast milk that can be seen within the rings to determine when a child was breastfeeding and when they were weaned. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Early humans breastfed their young for a year, study says," 15 July 2019 All 10 of the candidates participating in the CNN forums have proposed plans starting at $1 trillion for investment and research to wean the U.S. economy off oil, gas and coal. Anchorage Daily News, "2020 Democratic candidates turn focus to climate change," 4 Sep. 2019 Receiver Emmanuel Sanders: The Broncos’ plan of weaning Sanders back into a routine paid off. Ryan O'halloran, The Denver Post, "Broncos Analysis: Exiting long preseason, reasons for optimism, concern," 30 Aug. 2019 Nicotine patches have failed to wean the girls off their addiction, according to the complaint. Jackie Borchardt, Cincinnati.com, "Ohio mom sues Juul after teen daughters become addicted to e-cigarettes. Juuling led to mood swings and migraines, suit says.," 26 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wean.' 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 wean

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for wean

Middle English wenen, from Old English wenian to accustom, wean; akin to Old English wunian to be used to — more at wont

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Statistics for wean

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wean

The first known use of wean was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for wean



English Language Learners Definition of wean

: to start feeding (a child or young animal) food other than its mother's milk


\ ˈwēn How to pronounce wean (audio) \
weaned; weaning

Kids Definition of wean

1 : to get a child or young animal used to food other than its mother's milk
2 : to make someone stop desiring a thing he or she has been fond of I weaned myself off sweets.
\ ˈwēn How to pronounce wean (audio) \

Medical Definition of wean

1 : to accustom (as an infant or young child) to take food otherwise than by nursing
2 : to detach usually gradually from a cause of dependence or form of treatment

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More from Merriam-Webster on wean

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wean

Spanish Central: Translation of wean

Nglish: Translation of wean for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wean for Arabic Speakers

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