Pronunciation Verb

wean (weans, present participle weaning; past and past participle weaned)

  1. (transitive) To cease giving milk to an offspring; to accustom and reconcile (a child or young animal) to a want or deprivation of mother's milk; to take from the breast or udder.
    The cow has weaned her calf.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Genesis 21:8 ↗:
      Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.
  2. (intransitive) To cease to depend on the mother for nourishment.
    The kittens are finally weaning.
  3. (transitive, by extension) To cause to quit something to which one is addicted or habituated.
    He managed to wean himself off heroin.
    • smallcaps Dalai Lama: "Then, I suggested, “Drink much less vodka.” Instead of that, they traditionally also drink horse milk—"
      smallcaps Oliver: "Wait, hold on, you tried to wean them off vodka by giving them horse milk?"
      smallcaps Dalai Lama: "Oh yes, and they follow."
  4. (intransitive, by extension) To cease to depend.
    She is weaning from her addiction to tobacco.
Translations Translations
  • Russian: отуча́ть от груди́
  • Spanish: destetar
  • French: sevrer
  • German: entwöhnen
  • Russian: (breastfeeding) отвыка́ть от груди́
  • IPA: /wiːn/, /weɪn/, [weːn]

wean (plural weans)

  1. (Scotland, Ulster) A small child.
    • 2008, James Kelman, Kieron Smith, Boy, Penguin 2009, p. 92:
      Pigs, cows and sheep and wee ducks, that was what he bought and it was just for weans and wee lasses. I said it to my maw.
      Oh it is not weans it is children. Oh Kieron, it is children and girls, do not say weans and lasses.
    • I, being but a yearling wean.

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