Definitions

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

  • noun Any of various densely branched annual plants, such as Russian thistle and several species of amaranth, that break off from the roots at the end of the growing season and are rolled about by the wind.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A branching plant whose top assumes a globular figure and in autumn is detached and rolled over the plains by the wind, scattering its seed.

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

  • noun (Bot.) Any plant which habitually breaks away from its roots in the autumn, and is driven by the wind, as a light, rolling mass, over the fields and prairies; such as witch grass, wild indigo, Amarantus albus, etc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any plant which habitually breaks away from its roots in the autumn, and is driven by the wind, as a light, rolling mass, over the fields and prairies; as witch grass, wild indigo, Amaranthus albus, etc.
  • adjective Describing unwanted silence and inactivity. Often used of a situation when one makes a statement that is ignored or ill-received from one’s audience. Gives the impression that a tumbleweed has passed through the room, as the resultant silence is likened to that of a desolate desert.

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

  • noun prickly bushy Eurasian plant; a troublesome weed in central and western United States
  • noun any plant that breaks away from its roots in autumn and is driven by the wind as a light rolling mass
  • noun bushy plant of western United States
  • noun bushy annual weed of central North America having greenish flowers and winged seeds

Etymologies

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Examples

Comments

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  • When I was a child growing up in southern California, the Santa Ana winds that came in late fall and winter were so strong that they would uproot the tumbleweeds and propel them with such force that even though they are extremely light weight, in and of themselves, they would actually knock me down if I couldn't get out of the way fast enough.

    February 5, 2008