wean

verb \ ˈwēn \
Updated on: 11 Dec 2017

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 food
  • Sports 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 research
  • I was weaned on greasepaint
  • —Helen Hayes
  • the principles upon which he had been weaned
  • —J. A. Michener

Examples of wean in a Sentence

  1. The calves are weaned at an early age.

Recent Examples of wean from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of wean

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



WEAN Defined for English Language Learners

wean

verb

Definition of wean for English Language Learners

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


WEAN Defined for Kids

wean

verb \ ˈwēn \

Definition of wean for Students

weaned; weaning
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.

Medical Dictionary

wean

transitive verb \ ˈwēn \

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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