\ 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 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 Build a single inflatable dam or permanent weir on the U.S. side of the border for about $8.6 million. Gustavo Solis, San Diego Union-Tribune, "These six projects could fix the cross-border sewage spills," 1 Sep. 2019 According to Jones, the Shaktoolik River weir counted about a million pinks through the river on Wednesday alone. Author: Davis Hovey, Anchorage Daily News, "Warmer waters investigated as cause of pink salmon die-off in Norton Sound region," 12 July 2019 According to online fish counts, more than 45,000 early run sockeye have been counted past the Russian River weir since June 7. Matt Tunseth, Anchorage Daily News, "Fish and Game to raise Russian River sockeye limit to 9 fish per day starting Wednesday," 18 June 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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Time Traveler for weir

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

5 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Weir.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 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

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).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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