1. (tr) to measure the weight of
  2. (intr) to have weight or be heavyshe weighs more than her sister
  3. (tr often foll by out) to apportion according to weight
  4. (tr) to consider carefullyto weigh the facts of a case
  5. (intr) to be influentialhis words weighed little with the jury
  6. (intr often foll by on) to be oppressive or burdensome (to)
  7. obsolete to regard or esteem
  8. weigh anchor to raise a vessel’s anchor or (of a vessel) to have its anchor raised preparatory to departure


  1. under weigh a variant spelling of under way

v.Old English wegan “find the weight of, have weight, lift, carry,” from Proto-Germanic *weganan (cf. Old Saxon wegan, Old Frisian wega, Dutch wegen “to weigh,” Old Norse vega, Old High German wegan “to move, carry, weigh,” German wiegen “to weigh”), from PIE *wegh- “to move” (cf. Sanskrit vahati “carries, conveys,” vahitram “vessel, ship;” Avestan vazaiti “he leads, draws;” Greek okhos “carriage;” Latin vehere “to carry, convey;” Old Church Slavonic vesti “to carry, convey;” Lithuanian vezu “to carry, convey;” Old Irish fecht “campaign, journey”). The original sense was of motion, which led to that of lifting, then to that of “measure the weight of.” The older sense of “lift, carry” survives in the nautical phrase weigh anchor. Figurative sense of “to consider, ponder” (in reference to words, etc.) is recorded from mid-14c.

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