\ 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 work on the north side of the Brook Road dam began last week with the removal of existing concrete to the original sandstone weir wall, as well as the existing spillway wall being taken down to the shale bedrock. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, 30 Mar. 2021 The design includes a wet-bottom pond with a normal pool water surface elevation of 40 feet and a 110-foot trapezoidal spillway weir with a crest elevation of 61 feet. Ryan Nickerson, Houston Chronicle, 20 Aug. 2020 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, 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, 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, 14 Sep. 2019 Salmon weirs at Kodiak and Chignik may be reduced along with various groundfish stock assessment projects. Anchorage Daily News, 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, 6 Dec. 2019 The god Errakal was uprooting the mooring-poles, Ninurta, passing by, made the weirs overflow. Joan Acocella, The New Yorker, 7 Oct. 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 22 Jun. 2021.

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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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