\ 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

Just 70 kings had passed a weir just four miles above the Little Susitna public boat launch as of June 12, according to Fish and Game. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "From bad to worse: State announces more king salmon fishing shutdowns for Susitna Valley," 22 June 2018 Without the weir, the ocean tides could flow in and out, creating a predominantly saltwater system. Phil Diehl,, "Decision on Buena Vista Lagoon project likely delayed until summer," 22 Apr. 2018 The company hasn't yet determined whether the weir that drains the lake was open or if contamination may have flowed into the Cape Fear River. Michael Biesecker, Fox News, "Rains from Florence cause collapse at NC coal ash landfill," 15 Sep. 2018 King catches elsewhere in the Valley have been almost nonexistent; as of Thursday, Oslund said only six fish had been counted past the Little Susitna River weir. Matt Tunseth, Anchorage Daily News, "Here are the best bets for sportfishing in Southcentral Alaska this holiday weekend," 26 May 2018 Officials said that a new weir, or low dam, built outside the cave was helping to keep water levels relatively stable within. New York Times, "8 Saved, 5 to Go in Thai Cave Rescue," 9 July 2018 On the Deshka River, a tributary of the Susitna, about 4,200 kings made it past a weir as of Thursday morning. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "From bad to worse: State announces more king salmon fishing shutdowns for Susitna Valley," 22 June 2018 Other projects back on the funding track include Southeast and Togiak herring research, westward salmon weirs, Southeast sablefish research and Prince William Sound Tanner crab. Laine Welch, Anchorage Daily News, "Funding for Alaska’s commercial fisheries division in good shape, with $300K going to chinook project," 29 Apr. 2018 With water releases stopped, the lake quickly filled to capacity and water began flowing over a concrete weir that serves as an emergency spillway. CBS News, "Heavy rain in Northern California may test spillway at nation's tallest dam," 6 Apr. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near weir






weir basin

weir box

Statistics for weir

Last Updated

25 May 2019

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Time Traveler for weir

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on weir

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with weir

Spanish Central: Translation of weir Encyclopedia article about weir

Comments on weir

What made you want to look up weir? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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