Definitions

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

  • n. Any of numerous grasslike plants of the family Cyperaceae, having solid stems, leaves in three vertical rows, and spikelets of inconspicuous flowers, with each flower subtended by a scalelike bract.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any plant of the genus Carex, the true sedges, perennial, endogenous herbs, often growing in dense tufts in marshy places. They have triangular jointless stems, a spiked inflorescence, and long grasslike leaves which are usually rough on the margins and midrib. There are several hundred species.
  • n. Any plant of the family Cyperaceae.
  • n. Obsolete spelling of siege.
  • n. Alternative spelling of segge.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any plant of the genus Carex, perennial, endogenous, innutritious herbs, often growing in dense tufts in marshy places. They have triangular jointless stems, a spiked inflorescence, and long grasslike leaves which are usually rough on the margins and midrib. There are several hundred species.
  • n. A flock of herons.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A plant of the genus Carex, an extensive genus of grass-like cyperaceous plants.
  • n. A flock of herons or bitterns, sometimes of cranes.
  • n. Synonyms Covey, etc. See flock.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. grasslike or rushlike plant growing in wet places having solid stems, narrow grasslike leaves and spikelets of inconspicuous flowers

Etymologies

Middle English segge, from Old English secg; see sek- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English secg, from Germanic. Cognate with Dutch zegge and German Segge, dialectal German Saher ‘reeds’. (Wiktionary)
Variant spellings. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • I wander by the edge
    Of this desolate lake
    Where wind cries in the sedge
    Until the axle break
    That keeps the stars in their round
    And hands hurl in the deep
    The banners of East and West
    And the girdle of light is unbound,
    Your breast will not lie by the breast
    Of your beloved in sleep.

    - W.B. Yeats, 'Aedh hears the Cry of the Sedge '.

    September 18, 2009

  • Also a (technically incorrect) term of venery for bitterns and cranes; the correct term would be ‘a siege of…’.

    “Here she dwelt with a retinue of aged servants, fantastic women and men half imbecile, who salaamed before her with eastern humility and yet addressed her in such terms as gossips use. Had she given them life they could not have obeyed with more reverence. Quaint things the women wrought for her—pomanders and cushions of thistledown; and the men were never happier than when they could tell her of the first thrush’s egg in the thorn-bush or the sedge of bitterns that haunted the marsh. She was their goddess and their daughter.�?
    — R. Murray Gilchrist, A Night on the Moor and Other Tales of Dread

    November 13, 2008

  • Citation on cleg.

    June 29, 2008