\ ˈwer How to pronounce weir (audio) , ˈwir How to pronounce weir (audio) \

Definition of weir

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a fence or enclosure set in a waterway for taking fish
2 : a dam in a stream or river to raise the water level or divert its flow


biographical name
\ ˈwir How to pronounce Weir (audio) \

Definition of Weir (Entry 2 of 2)

Robert Walter 1803–1889 American painter

Examples of weir in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, consisting of channels, weirs and dams built from volcanic rocks, is one of the world's most extensive and oldest aquaculture systems, according to UNESCO. Eric Cheung, CNN, "An ancient aquatic system older than the pyramids has been revealed by the Australian bushfires," 21 Jan. 2020 For example, the City of West Palm Beach recently paid $1.8 million to repair a weir that was partially damaged by burrowing iguanas and to armor the low dam against further damage. Popular Science, "Iguanas are falling out of trees in Florida, and it’s completely fine," 25 Jan. 2020 The changes likely contributed to a slight rebound noted in the forage base last year as well as substantially bigger sizes in predator fish caught by anglers and returning to weirs. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The DNR has proposed increases in chinook stocking, and there's still time to weigh in," 14 Sep. 2019 Salmon weirs at Kodiak and Chignik may be reduced along with various groundfish stock assessment projects. Anchorage Daily News, "Breaking down the Alaska budget’s impact on commercial fisheries," 3 Sep. 2019 The improvement project includes installing a concrete wall, building anchor blocks at the base of the dam and elevating the pool weirs by 7 feet. Savannah Mehrtens, Houston Chronicle, "Kingwood BizCom focuses on flood mitigation, holiday safety," 6 Dec. 2019 The god Errakal was uprooting the mooring-poles, Ninurta, passing by, made the weirs overflow. Joan Acocella, The New Yorker, "How to Read “Gilgamesh”," 7 Oct. 2019 Try your hand at weaving a fish weir or craft a split bamboo fly rod. Maysoon Khan,, "Lowell Folk Festival is a melting pot of cultures," 18 July 2019 Removing the 50-foot-wide weir at the beach would allow the ocean tides to routinely enter the lagoon for the first time since the barrier was first built in the 1940s. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Agreement close on Buena Vista Lagoon restoration," 11 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'weir.' 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 weir


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for weir


Middle English were, going back to Old English wer, going back to Germanic *wera- (whence Old Saxon wer, werr "fish trap, dam," Middle High German wer, Old Norse ver "fishing place"), derivative of an Indo-European verb stem *u̯er- "halt, check, avert," whence, from an iterative derivative *u̯or-ei̯e-, Germanic *warjan- (whence Old English werian "to ward off, protect," Old Saxon, "to hinder, prevent," Old High German weren, werren "to hinder, defend," Old Norse verja "to defend, guard," Gothic warjan "to hinder, forbid"); and, with other ablaut derivatives, Greek érymai, érysthai "to ward off, protect, save," Sanskrit vṛṇoti "(s/he) obstructs, prevents"

Note: See note at aperient.

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

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Cite this Entry

“Weir.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for weir


How to pronounce Weir (audio) How to pronounce Weir (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of weir

: a low wall or dam built across a stream or river to raise the level of the water or to change the direction of its flow

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More from Merriam-Webster on weir

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for weir

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with weir

Spanish Central: Translation of weir Encyclopedia article about weir

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