\ 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

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 Two particularly promising targets: carved rock art already found at multiple onshore sites, and stone weirs, or fish traps. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "Rising Seas Swallowed Countless Archaeological Sites. Scientists Want Them Back," 20 May 2019 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

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.

See More

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about weir

Dictionary Entries near weir






weir basin

weir box

Statistics for weir

Last Updated

14 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for weir

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for weir



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

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).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!