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tr.v. weaned, wean·ing, weans
1. To accustom (the young of a mammal) to take nourishment other than by suckling.
2. To detach from that to which one is strongly habituated or devoted: She weaned herself from cigarettes.
3. To accustom to something from an early age. Often used with on: "The northerners among the refugees ... were weaned on harsh weather and infertile soils and are known for their rigorous work ethic" (Lowell Weiss).

[Middle English wenen, from Old English wenian; see wen- in Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: In recent years weaned on has come to be widely used in the sense "raised on," as in Moviegoers weaned on the Star Trek TV series will doubtless find the film to their liking. A few critics have objected to this usage on the grounds that wean refers literally to a detachment from a source of nourishment. But the process of weaning involves a substitution of some other form of nourishment for mother's milk; thus it is sometimes said that a child is weaned onto or on sugar water. Hence a sentence like Paul was weaned on folk music may suggest metaphorically that Paul's exposure to folk music began from the time he stopped nursing, that is, from a very early age.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.weaned - freed of dependence on something especially (for mammals) mother's milk; "the just-weaned calf bawled for its mother"
mammal, mammalian - any warm-blooded vertebrate having the skin more or less covered with hair; young are born alive except for the small subclass of monotremes and nourished with milk
unweaned - not weaned; "some children remain unweaned until their second or third birthdays"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
'twould be better for her that she should be weaned."
"I never had any one, horse or man, that was kind to me, or that I cared to please, for in the first place I was taken from my mother as soon as I was weaned, and put with a lot of other young colts; none of them cared for me, and I cared for none of them.
She did not rebuke Jo with saintly speeches, only loved her better for her passionate affection, and clung more closely to the dear human love, from which our Father never means us to be weaned, but through which He draws us closer to Himself.
The propriety of these distinctions is explained by the nature of the senatorial trust, which, requiring greater extent of information and tability of character, requires at the same time that the senator should have reached a period of life most likely to supply these advantages; and which, participating immediately in transactions with foreign nations, ought to be exercised by none who are not thoroughly weaned from the prepossessions and habits incident to foreign birth and education.
Hetty blushed a deep rose-colour when Captain Donnithorne entered the dairy and spoke to her; but it was not at all a distressed blush, for it was inwreathed with smiles and dimples, and with sparkles from under long, curled, dark eyelashes; and while her aunt was discoursing to him about the limited amount of milk that was to be spared for butter and cheese so long as the calves were not all weaned, and a large quantity but inferior quality of milk yielded by the shorthorn, which had been bought on experiment, together with other matters which must be interesting to a young gentleman who would one day be a landlord, Hetty tossed and patted her pound of butter with quite a self-possessed, coquettish air, slyly conscious that no turn of her head was lost.
On the other hand, their six or eight years of book education had weaned them away from the occupation of their mothers.
It weaned me of all further desire to rail at Mary, and I felt an uncommon drawing to her.
A puppy, a little puppy scarcely weaned. For two cents I'd give you what-for myself.
“It is not at all remarkable; a half-breed can never be weaned from the savage ways—and, for one of his lineage, the boy is much nearer civilization than could, in reason, be expected.”
"Mebbe you-all think I ain't weaned yet?" Daylight demanded.
The calves in this group were weaned at the age of 70 days after birth (early weaning).