Definition of wean
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
The calves are weaned at an early age.
Recent Examples of wean from the Web
One proposal set a particularly aggressive anti-climate-change goal — to wean the state's electrical grid from all fossil fuels, and carbon emissions, by 2045.
Scientists warn that any delay in weaning the country off fossil fuels could exacerbate the negative effects of climate change for the rest of the globe.
Both Democratic Senators from Michigan oppose the bill, with Carl Levin towing the Bush Administration’s line of doing nothing now and hoping that research will lead to breakthroughs at some future point that will magically wean us from oil.
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
First Known Use: before 12th century
WEAN Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of wean for Students
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 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
Seen and Heard
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