\ 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

New York should wean itself off its reliance on gas taxes and consider charging motorists by the mile to pay for roads and bridges, a watchdog group said in a report released Tuesday. Paul Berger, WSJ, "New York’s Road-Repair Funding Gap Sparks Driver Tax Debate," 19 Mar. 2019 Eight weeks is same time that they are weaned from their mothers. Alex Kingsbury, BostonGlobe.com, "Reaching peak puppy cuteness," 18 May 2018 The initiative is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030, a blueprint for transforming the economy and weaning it off oil. Aya Batrawy, The Seattle Times, "Saudi Arabia showcases $53B in deals at conference," 28 Jan. 2019 Ganaderos Alvarado, a ranching and meat-processing company based in Arecibo, also is trying to wean itself of Prepa. Andrew Scurria And Arian Campo-flores, WSJ, "Puerto Rico Picks Bidders for Ailing Power Utility," 20 Jan. 2019 Jinhua, a startup backed by $5.7 billion in Chinese state funds, is central to China’s plan to build a world-class semiconductor industry and wean itself off dependence on foreign technology. Kate O’keeffe, WSJ, "Trump and Xi Talk as U.S.-China Tech Fight Brews," 1 Nov. 2018 Focusing on search-engine traffic and e-commerce is a popular strategy across the digital media sector, as publishers seek to wean themselves off social media networks and cultivate more reliable sources of web traffic. Benjamin Mullin, WSJ, "Dotdash, Riding Wave of Search Traffic, Acquires New Sites," 8 Jan. 2019 The price increases were aimed at ending the government’s subsidy on the fuel as Modi’s government tried to balance fiscal discipline with the need to wean citizens off polluting fuels. Bloomberg.com, "India Halts Cooking Gas Price Increases to Boost Use," 28 Dec. 2017 For Rodgers, recovery was a three-year process of weaning herself off the pills with the help of an addiction center. Kaitlin Menza, Good Housekeeping, "Mommy's Little Helper:," 13 Aug. 2016

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

29 Mar 2019

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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

Comments on wean

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marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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