from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various tall perennial grasses, especially of the genera Phragmites and Arundo, having hollow stems and large plumelike panicles and growing in wetlands.
  • noun Any of several similar plants, such as the papyrus.
  • noun The stalk of any of these plants.
  • noun A collection of these stalks.
  • noun Music A primitive wind instrument made of a hollow reed stalk.
  • noun A flexible strip of cane or metal set into the mouthpiece or air opening of certain instruments to produce tone by vibrating in response to a stream of air.
  • noun An instrument, such as an oboe or clarinet, that is fitted with a reed.
  • noun A narrow movable frame fitted with reed or metal strips that separate the warp threads in weaving.
  • noun Architecture A reeding.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To draw (warp-threads) through the reed of a loom.
  • To furnish with reeds, as an organ.
  • An obsolete form of red (still extant in the surname Reed).
  • noun Any tall broad-leafed grass growing on the margins of streams or in other wet places; especially, any grass of one of the genera Phragmites, Arundo, or Ammophila.
  • noun Some one of other more or less similar plants. See phrases below.
  • noun A musical pipe of reed or cane, having a mouthpiece made by slitting the tube near a joint, and usually several finger-holes; a rustic or pastoral pipe; hence, figuratively, pastoral poetry. See cut under pipe.
  • noun In music: In musical instruments of the oboe and clarinet classes, and in all kinds of organs, a thin elastic plate or tongue of reed, wood, or metal, so fitted to an opening into a pipe as nearly to close it, and so arranged that, when a current of air is directed through the opening, the reed is drawn into or driven against it so as to close it, but immediately springs back by its own elasticity, only to be pressed forward again by the air, thus producing a tone, either directly by its own vibrations or indirectly by the sympathetic vibrations of the column of air in the pipe.
  • noun In reed-instruments of the oboe class, and in both pipe- and reed-organs, the entire mechanism immediately surrounding the reed proper, consisting of the tube or box the opening or eschallot of which the reed itself covers or fills, together with any other attachments, like the tuning-wire of reed-pipes. (See reed-organ and reed-pipe.) In the clarinet the analogous part is called the beak or mouthpiece.
  • noun Any reed-instrument as a whole, tike an oboe or a clarinet: as, the reeds of an orchestra.
  • noun In organ-building, same as reed-stop.
  • noun A missile weapon; an arrow or a javelin: used poetically.
  • noun Reeds or straw prepared for thatching; thatch: a general term: as, a bundle of reed.
  • noun A long slender elastic rod of whalebone, ratan, or steel, of which several are inserted in a woman's skirt to expand or stiffen it.
  • noun In mining, any hollow plant-stem which can be filled with powder and put into the cavity left. by the withdrawal of the needle, to set off the charge at the bottom. Such devices are nearly or entirely superseded by the safety-fuse. Also called spire.
  • noun An instrument used for pressing down the threads of the woof in tapestry, so as to keep the surface well together.
  • noun A weavers' instrument for separating the threads of the warp, and for beating the weft up to the web.
  • noun In heraldry, a bearing representing a weavers' reed. See slay.
  • noun A Hebrew and Assyrian unit, of length, equal to 6 cubits, generally taken as being from 124 to 130 inches.
  • noun Same as rennet-bag.
  • noun In arch., carp., etc., a small convex molding; in the plural, same as reeding, 2.
  • To thatch. Compare reed, n., 6.
  • In carp., arch., etc., to fashion into, or decorate with, reeds or reeding.
  • noun An obsolete form of read.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective obsolete Red.
  • noun Prov. Eng. or Scot. The fourth stomach of a ruminant; rennet.
  • noun (Bot.) A name given to many tall and coarse grasses or grasslike plants, and their slender, often jointed, stems, such as the various kinds of bamboo, and especially the common reed of Europe and North America (Phragmites communis).
  • noun A musical instrument made of the hollow joint of some plant; a rustic or pastoral pipe.
  • noun An arrow, as made of a reed.
  • noun Prov. Eng. Straw prepared for thatching a roof.
  • noun A small piece of cane or wood attached to the mouthpiece of certain instruments, and set in vibration by the breath. In the clarinet it is a single fiat reed; in the oboe and bassoon it is double, forming a compressed tube.
  • noun One of the thin pieces of metal, the vibration of which produce the tones of a melodeon, accordeon, harmonium, or seraphine; also attached to certain sets or registers of pipes in an organ.
  • noun (Weaving) A frame having parallel flat stripe of metal or reed, between which the warp threads pass, set in the swinging lathe or batten of a loom for beating up the weft; a sley. See Batten.
  • noun (Mining) A tube containing the train of powder for igniting the charge in blasting.
  • noun (Arch.) Same as Reeding.
  • noun (Bot.) the papyrus.
  • noun (Mus.) a reed whose edges do not overlap the wind passage, -- used in the harmonium, concertina, etc. It is distinguished from the beating or striking reed of the organ and clarinet.
  • noun (Bot.) the Glyceria aquatica, a tall grass found in wet places.
  • noun See Reedbird.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English rede, from Old English hrēod.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English rede, Old English hrēod. Akin to German Ried. No cognates in North Germanic languages, but a Gothic  (hriud) was derived. It is theorised that the word may have a relation to ritae in Noctes Atticae (Aulus Gellius).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

See ree


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