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awn

[awn] /ɔn/
noun, Botany
1.
a bristlelike appendage of a plant, especially on the glumes of grasses.
2.
such appendages collectively, as those forming the beard of wheat, barley, etc.
3.
any similar bristle.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English aw(u)n, agune, agene, probably < Scandinavian; compare Old Norse ǫgn, Old Danish aghn husk; replacing and cognate with Old English ægnan; cognate with Gothic ahana, Old High German agana (German Agen, Ahne), Dutch, Frisian agen; OL agna ear of grain, Czech osina awn; Greek ákaina thorn, bristle, ákhnē chaff (< a pre-Hellenic substratum language); < Indo-European *Haeḱ- sharp
Related forms
awned, adjective
awnless, adjective
unawned, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for un awned

awn

/ɔːn/
noun
1.
any of the bristles growing from the spikelets of certain grasses, including cereals
Derived Forms
awned, adjective
awnless, adjective
Word Origin
Old English agen ear of grain; related to Old Norse ögn chaff, Gothic ahana, Old High German agana, Greek akōn javelin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for un awned

awn

n.

"bristly fibers on grain of plants," c.1300, from Old Norse ögn, from Proto-Germanic *agano (cf. Old English egenu, Old High German agana, German Ahne, Gothic ahana), from PIE *ak-ona- (cf. Sanskrit asani- "arrowhead," Greek akhne "husk of wheat," Latin acus "chaff," Lithuanian akuotas "beard, awn"); suffixed form of PIE root *ak- "sharp" (see acrid).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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un awned in Science
awn
  (ôn)   

A slender, bristlelike appendage found on the spikelets of many grasses.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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