- a tall, slender-leaved plant of the grass family, which grows in water or on marshy ground.；used in names of plants similar to the reed and growing in wet habitats, e.g. bur reed.
noun: reed, plural noun: reeds
- 1. a tall, slender-leaved plant of the grass family, which grows in water or on marshy ground.
- ▪ used in names of plants similar to the reed and growing in wet habitats, e.g. bur reed.
- ▪ reeds growing in a mass or used as material, especially for making thatch or household items a reed curtain clumps of reed and grass
- ▪ British the tall, thin, straight stalk of a reed, used especially as material for thatching.
- ▪ literary a rustic musical pipe made from a reed or from straw as if thy waves had only heard the shepherd's reed
- ▪ literary an arrow.
- 2. a weak or impressionable person the jurors were mere reeds in the wind
- 3. a piece of thin cane or metal, sometimes doubled, that vibrates in a current of air to produce the sound of various musical instruments, as in the mouthpiece of a clarinet or oboe, at the base of some organ pipes, and as part of a set in the accordion and harmonica a reed instrument
- ▪ a wind instrument played with a reed.
- ▪ an organ stop with reed pipes.
- 4. an electrical contact used in a magnetically operated switch or relay the permanent magnet closes the reeds and contacts together a reed relay
- 5. a comblike implement (originally made from reed or cane) used by a weaver to separate the threads of the warp and correctly position the weft.
- 6. a set of semicylindrical adjacent moldings like reeds laid together.