\ 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 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 But unlike Sanders, the Biden camp still sees natural gas as a bridge fuel that can help the United States wean off its addiction to fossil fuels. Matt Egan, CNN, "Why Biden won't ban fracking -- and why Trump wants you to think he will," 8 Oct. 2020 Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is about to embark on the country’s most experimental stimulus of the coronavirus crisis yet in a bid to wean citizens off cash -- and the tax avoidance that comes with it. Craig Stirling, Bloomberg.com, "Italy’s Love of Cash Is Tested by Conte’s Tax Capture Trick," 7 Oct. 2020 The procedure ultimately allowed her team to wean her off sedation and ventilator support, and soon, Augustina started to regain consciousness. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, "14-Year-Old Girl Survives Coronavirus After 57 Days in Calif. Hospital: 'COVID Is Not a Joke'," 18 Sep. 2020 Any tips on how to avoid reverting to overreliance on the pacifier, or ideas on how to wean? The Washington Post, "On Parenting: Meghan Leahy took your questions," 16 Sep. 2020 Still, climate activists say the moment underscores the need for Washington to support the Green New Deal, an ambitious — and likely costly — plan to wean the U.S. from fossil fuels and drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions. Aamer Madhani, Star Tribune, "Climate change largely missing from campaign as fires rage," 10 Sep. 2020 His parents' attempt to wean him off racing had failed dismally. Jonathan Hawkins, CNN, "Racing's nearly-man Hervé Poncharal finally secures the victory that eluded him for four decades," 10 Sep. 2020 At that point, Small will put them in outdoor enclosures at the orphanage and wean them off bottle feeding. Doug Gimesy, National Geographic, "Raising orphaned baby wombats under lockdown," 21 Aug. 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

16 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wean.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wean. Accessed 25 Oct. 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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