There are 2 main definitions of weigh in English:

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weigh 1

Pronunciation: /wā/


1 [with object] Find out how heavy (someone or something) is, typically using scales: weigh yourself on the day you begin the diet the vendor weighed the vegetables
More example sentences
  • The buckets were then weighed and the heaviest amount won.
  • Many industries developed their own very specific scales designed to weigh particular items.
  • Michael, who was so large his GP's scales could not weigh him, has lost almost 20 inches from his waist - and he's still shrinking.
measure the weight of, put on the scales;
1.1Have a specified weight: when the twins were born, they weighed ten pounds
More example sentences
  • Olivia was born weighing a healthy 5lb 12 oz.
  • Luke is born prematurely weighing only one pound and four ounces.
  • The calf weighed a healthy 30 pounds and was 3 feet long.
have a weight of, tip the scales at, weigh in at
1.2Balance in the hands to guess or as if to guess the weight of: she picked up the brick and weighed it in her right hand
More example sentences
  • Pulling out a rather large bag of gold pieces, he held it out, weighing it out in his hand.
1.3 (weigh something out) Measure and take from a larger quantity of a substance a portion of a particular weight: she weighed out two ounces of loose tobacco
More example sentences
  • Flour, sugar, rice and other dry goods and plain biscuits were weighed out into brown paper bags.
1.4 [no object] (weigh on) Be depressing or burdensome to: his unhappiness would weigh on my mind so much
More example sentences
  • That depressing trend no doubt weighed on the minds of the delegates who gathered this week in Boston for the Democratic National Convention.
  • Despite the burden that weighed on his mind, the swordsman never felt happier in his life.
  • Investors worry that high oil prices, which helped boost the trade deficit by 12%, will weigh on the economy and depress stock prices.
oppress, lie heavy on, burden, hang over, gnaw at, prey on (one's mind);
trouble, worry, bother, disturb, get down, depress, haunt, nag, torment, plague
2Assess the nature or importance of, especially with a view to a decision or action: the consequences of the move would need to be very carefully weighed
More example sentences
  • Every act must be carefully weighed before a decision is made to see whether it meets the strict ethical criteria.
  • The positive and negative aspects need to be weighed and then a decision is to be taken.
  • The selection of a particular value for a benefit-cost or net benefit analysis must be carefully weighed against the objectives of the analysis.
consider, contemplate, think about, mull over, chew over, reflect on, ruminate about, muse on;
assess, appraise, analyze, investigate, inquire into, look into, examine, review, explore, take stock of
2.1 (weigh something against) Compare the importance of one factor with that of (another): they need to weigh benefit against risk
More example sentences
  • Because they are stupid, they do not know how to weigh benefits against risk?
  • Instead, the writer forces us to hold these two characteristics in our mind at the same time. We have to balance them, weigh them against each other, compare and contrast them.
  • Should patients have a choice to base their decision on whether or not to take a drug by weighing the risks against the benefits?
balance, evaluate, compare, juxtapose, contrast, measure
2.2 [no object] Influence a decision or action; be considered important: the evidence weighed heavily against him
More example sentences
  • The evidence of human history weighs heavily against it.
  • The epidemiological evidence weighs heavily against such a link.
  • Street lighting was discussed but the unsuitability in a rural area and the question of cost weighed against any benefit.



weigh anchor

see anchor.

weigh one's words

Carefully choose the way one expresses something.
Example sentences
  • He talks with a grace and poise that is typically German, weighing his words carefully as we discuss the band's new release.
  • ‘It's better without Sophie,’ I reply, weighing my words carefully, ‘she has to learn that other people are willing to look past her image.’
  • Even so,’ she continued, weighing her words carefully, ‘I couldn't help but hope that I would get the chance to tell you how incredibly sorry I am.

Phrasal verbs


weigh someone down

Be heavy and cumbersome to someone: my waders and fishing gear weighed me down
More example sentences
  • My arms felt like heavy clubs, weighing me down.
  • Despite the heavy clothing that was weighing me down, I felt light, as though a stone had been lifted off my heart.
  • My clothes and pack had already become heavy and were weighing me down.
1.1Be oppressive or burdensome to someone: she was weighed down by the responsibility of looking after her sisters
More example sentences
  • I just remained out of his sight, with the burden of worry weighing me down.
  • Looking at Dorrie alone in her sitting-room, you wonder how someone so slender and gentle has carried the burdens life has weighed her down with.
  • For a while, the long, continuous burdens of your life weigh you down so much you can't see a future.

weigh in

(Chiefly of a boxer or jockey) be officially weighed before or after a contest: Mason weighed in at 203 lb
More example sentences
  • No objection was lodged before the jockeys weighed in.
  • Tann weighed in for the bout at 230 pounds while Gavern tipped the scales at 223 pounds.
  • For example, I only weigh about 200 lb when I weigh in with my clothes on.

weigh in at

informal Be of (a specified weight).
Example sentences
  • The camera weighs in at about 800g.
  • Hartson, who weighs in at 14 st 6lb, said monitoring his weight involved not having ‘six or seven pints’ if O'Neill granted his players a few days off, but ‘a bottle of wine’ instead.
  • After the boys were delivered during that operation - weighing in at about 3lb each, a much better weight than expected - it was three days before Vanessa was well enough to be able to visit them.
informal3.1 Cost (a specified amount).
Example sentences
  • The cardboard box it comes in and the delivery costs weigh in at more than the chip itself.
  • The system used weighs in at a total cost of a whopping E287,384.
  • The total cost of disease eradication to the taxpayers weighs in at 216m.

weigh in with

informal Make a forceful contribution to a competition or argument by means of: Baker weighed in with a three-pointer
More example sentences
  • Politicians and officials weighed in to say the government should act.
  • In your capacity as an elections official, I appeal to you to weigh in on the side of democratic principles.
  • The Washington Post, official voice of the Democratic Party, weighs in on Social Security, in an article titled ‘Poorest Face Most Risk on Social Security’.

weigh into

informal Join in forcefully or enthusiastically: they weighed into the election campaign
More example sentences
  • Religious leaders also weighed into the debate.
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury weighs into the discussion in the Telegraph.
  • Meg Lees, she who caved in over the GST, jumped ship (admittedly it was sinking) now weighs into the FTA debate supporting Labor but saying the amendments don't go far enough.
5.1Attack physically or verbally: he weighed into the companies for their high costs
More example sentences
  • The comments came as the White House weighed into the latest controversy for the first time, describing the two IRA statements, released within 24 hours of each other, as ‘unwelcome’.
  • Federal MP Anthony couldn't resist weighing into the debate.
  • Soldiers and police, armed with assault rifles, shields and sticks, rushed forward and weighed into the melee.

weigh out

(Of a jockey) be weighed before a race.
Example sentences
  • Jockeys weigh out with the clerk of scales in order to earn their mount fees.
  • Jockeys started to weigh out in kilograms instead of stones and pounds.
  • If the new rules are passed, a jockey will be paid only when he is officially weighed out, and he will not be paid if he elects not to ride.

weigh someone/something up

British Carefully assess someone or something: investors weighed up their next move
More example sentences
  • United Future has weighed this issue up carefully.
  • When they assess you and weigh you up, all that type of stuff, just remember, it's very inaccurate.
  • We are constantly urged to weigh things up, to ponder, to reflect.



Pronunciation: /ˈwāəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • The majority were weighable on each visit by using electronic balances.
  • Weighable amounts of astatine have never been isolated, and little is known about its chemical or physical properties.
  • To obtain a weighable mass a dedicated set-up for the low energy beam transport of heavy ions is needed.


Pronunciation: /ˈwāər/
Example sentences
  • I took my cat, Ruby Tuesday, a nice tabby cat, and I weighed her with an old spring weigher.
  • The truth of the matter's that the poet is an assessor and weigher of the state; he's not necessarily against it.


Old English wegan, of Germanic origin; related to wagon and wain, and to Dutch wegen 'weigh', German bewegen 'move', from an Indo-European root shared by Latin vehere 'convey'. Early senses included 'transport from one place to another' and 'raise up'.

  • The word weigh can be traced back to an ancient root that also gave us Latin vehere ‘to carry’, the source of vehicle. Early senses of weigh that are no longer used included ‘to transport from one place to another’ and ‘to raise up’, still in weigh the anchor of a boat or ship. The modern meaning probably comes from the idea of lifting something up on a pair of scales or similar device to weigh it. Weight is not directly related, but Old English gewiht was re-formed under the influence of weigh.

Words that rhyme with weigh

affray, agley, aka, allay, Angers, A-OK, appellation contrôlée, array, assay, astray, au fait, auto-da-fé, away, aweigh, aye, bay, belay, betray, bey, Bombay, Bordet, boulevardier, bouquet, brae, bray, café au lait, Carné, cassoulet, Cathay, chassé, chevet, chez, chiné, clay, convey, Cray, crème brûlée, crudités, cuvée, cy-pres, day, decay, deejay, dégagé, distinguée, downplay, dray, Dufay, Dushanbe, eh, embay, engagé, essay, everyday, faraway, fay, fey, flay, fray, Frey, fromage frais, gainsay, Gaye, Genet, giclee, gilet, glissé, gray, grey, halfway, hay, heigh, hey, hooray, Hubei, Hué, hurray, inveigh, jay, jeunesse dorée, José, Kay, Kaye, Klee, Kray, Lae, lay, lei, Littré, Lough Neagh, lwei, Mae, maguey, Malay, Mallarmé, Mandalay, Marseilles, may, midday, midway, mislay, misplay, Monterrey, Na-Dene, nay, né, née, neigh, Ney, noway, obey, O'Dea, okay, olé, outlay, outplay, outstay, outweigh, oyez, part-way, pay, Pei, per se, pince-nez, play, portray, pray, prey, purvey, qua, Quai d'Orsay, Rae, rangé, ray, re, reflet, relevé, roman-à-clef, Santa Fé, say, sei, Shar Pei, shay, slay, sleigh, sley, spae, spay, Spey, splay, spray, stay, straightaway, straightway, strathspey, stray, Sui, survey, sway, Taipei, Tay, they, today, tokay, Torbay, Tournai, trait, tray, trey, two-way, ukiyo-e, underlay, way, waylay, Wei, wey, Whangarei, whey, yea
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There are 2 main definitions of weigh in English:

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weigh 2

Pronunciation: /wā/


(in phrase under weigh) Nautical
Another way of saying underway (sense 2).
Example sentences
  • He could see Captain Mason supervising his crew, and once under weigh, saw him wave and salute.
  • At 10 a.m. got under weigh and turned out of Port Chalky At 4 p.m. came to an anchor in Preservation Bay.
  • A ship is under weigh when she has weighed her anchor… As soon as she gathers way she is under way.


Late 18th century: from an erroneous association with weigh anchor (see weigh1).

  • The word weigh can be traced back to an ancient root that also gave us Latin vehere ‘to carry’, the source of vehicle. Early senses of weigh that are no longer used included ‘to transport from one place to another’ and ‘to raise up’, still in weigh the anchor of a boat or ship. The modern meaning probably comes from the idea of lifting something up on a pair of scales or similar device to weigh it. Weight is not directly related, but Old English gewiht was re-formed under the influence of weigh.

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