\ 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 onstudents 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 Perhaps this sounds harsh, but maybe the most realistic goal is to finally wean themselves off of dreaming on Odor. Evan Grant, Dallas News, "Rougned Odor has continued to flail fabulously. Will the Rangers give up on him in 2021?," 9 Nov. 2020 Drugmaker Teva Pharmaceuticals would have paid $250 million and donated $23 billion for a drug used to help those with addiction wean off opioids. John Caniglia, cleveland, "Ohio backs $26 billion plan to settle nationwide opioid lawsuits with major drug companies," 6 Nov. 2020 First, wean yourself from constantly checking the news and your social media feed, Wright said. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Don't let election stress ruin your sleep (here's what to do)," 6 Nov. 2020 The Former Vice President has shown support for the Green New Deal, a resolution that calls on the government to wean the US off fossil fuels and curb greenhouse gas emissions, as well as to create new high-paying jobs in clean energy industries. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Your Guide to Where Joe Biden and Donald Trump Stand on 6 Key Issues," 30 Oct. 2020 Its partner, Phyton Biotech, used this method to wean the world off the Pacific yew, and is now the world’s largest supplier of paclitaxel. Brendan Borrell, The Atlantic, "The Tree That Could Help Stop the Pandemic," 21 Oct. 2020 For China’s leaders, a healthy stock market helps wean the economy off a heavy reliance on debt, said Rob Mumford, an investment manager for emerging-market equities at GAM Investments. Joanne Chiu, WSJ, "China Is Experiencing a Boom in Share Sales," 20 Oct. 2020 The development is a sign of unease in U.S.-Iraq relations amid near-daily attacks targeting American presence in the Mideast country and underscores the standing U.S. demand that Baghdad wean itself off dependence on Iranian oil. Star Tribune, "In sign of frustration, US shortens sanctions waiver to Iraq," 24 Sep. 2020 The oil and gas industry, meanwhile, touts U.S. LNG as a great option for countries looking to wean off dirtier coal. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy: US LNG could face pressure from EU’s new methane plans," 14 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for wean

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for wean

Last Updated

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wean.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wean. Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for wean


How to pronounce wean (audio)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on wean

Nglish: Translation of wean for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wean for Arabic Speakers

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