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reed

reed / rēd/ • n. 1. a tall, slender-leaved plant of the grass family that grows in water or on marshy ground. • Genera Phragmites and Arundo, family Gramineae: several species, in particular the common (or Norfolk) reed (P. australis), which is used for thatching. ∎  used in names of similar plants growing in wet habitats, e.g., bur reed. ∎  a tall, thin, straight stalk of such a plant, used esp. as material for thatching. ∎  [often as adj.] such plants growing in a mass or used as material, esp. for making thatch or household items: a reed curtain clumps of reed and grass. ∎ poetic/lit. a rustic musical pipe made from such plants or from straw. 2. a thing or person resembling or likened to such plants, in particular: ∎  a weak or impressionable person: the jurors were mere reeds in the wind. ∎ poetic/lit. an arrow. ∎  a weaver's comblike implement for separating the threads of the warp and correctly positioning the weft. ∎  (reeds) semicylindrical adjacent moldings grouped like reeds laid together. 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 wind instrument played with a reed. ∎  an organ stop with reed pipes. 4. an electrical contact used in a magnetically operated switch or relay. DERIVATIVES: reed·like / -ˌlīk/ adj.

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reed

reed, name used for several plants of the family Graminae (grass family). The common American reed, also called reedgrass and canegrass, is a tall perennial grass (Phragmites australis), widely distributed in fresh or brackish wet places. It has stout, creeping rootstalks and a large plumelike panicle. In the SW United States this grass is called carrizo and is used in building adobe huts; it has also been used for thatching and cordage. Native Americans collected a sweet exudate from the plant and made arrows of the stalks. The leaves served as edible greens and the seeds as a cereal food. Due in part to the degradation of salt marshes and in part to the supplanting of the native P. australis by a Eurasian variety, the reed has become invasive in American wetlands, where it often forms a monoculture. The giant reed (Arundo donax), of similar appearance, is native to the Mediterranean region but is now widely naturalized throughout tropical and warm climates, including the S United States. It is often cultivated for ornament, and in Europe the stems have been used to make reed instruments, bagpipes, and reed organs. This is the reed from which Pan was fabled to have made his panpipe, or syrinx. The "reeds" of wickerwork are often rattan. Reeds are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Liliopsida, order Cyperales, family Gramineae.

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reed

reed. Sound-producing agent (of thin cane, plastic, or metal) of various mouth-blown wind instr., such as ob. and harmonica, certain org. pipes, etc. A reed which vibrates against an air slot is a beating reed; one which vibrates through such a slot (i.e. from one side to the other) is a free reed. Reeds may be either single, as in cl. family, or double (in the latter the two halves of the mouthpiece itself being pieces of reed vibrating against each other, see oboe). On an org., the reed stop controls pipes which have reeds.

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reed

reed a reed before the wind lives on, while mighty oaks do fall proverbial saying, late 14th century, meaning that something which bends to the force of the wind is less likely to be broken than something which tries to withstand it.
a reed shaken by the wind the type of something easily moved and insubstantial, with biblical allusion as to Matthew 11:7, ‘What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?’

See also broken reed.

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reed

reed Aquatic grass native to wetlands throughout the world. The common reed (Phragmites communis) has broad leaves, feathery flower clusters, and stiff smooth stems. Dry reed stems are used for thatching, construction and musical pipes. Height: to 3m (10ft). Family Poaceae/Gramineae.

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reed

reed (tall straight stem of) any plant of the genera Phragmites and Arundo. OE. hrēod = OS. hriod. OHG. (h)riot (Du., G. riet):- WGmc. *χreuda.

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reed

reed. Small, convex moulding, smaller than an ovolo or bead, usually found with several others parallel to it, called reeding.

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reed

reedaccede, bead, Bede, bleed, breed, cede, concede, creed, deed, Eid, exceed, feed, Gide, God speed, greed, he'd, heed, impede, interbreed, intercede, Jamshid, knead, lead, mead, Mede, meed, misdeed, mislead, misread, need, plead, proceed, read, rede, reed, Reid, retrocede, screed, secede, seed, she'd, speed, stampede, steed, succeed, supersede, Swede, tweed, weak-kneed, we'd, weed •breastfeed • greenfeed • dripfeed •chickenfeed • spoonfeed • nosebleed •Nibelungenlied • invalid • Ganymede •Runnymede • airspeed • millipede •velocipede • centipede • Siegfried •filigreed • copyread • crossbreed •proofread • flaxseed • hayseed •rapeseed • linseed • pumpkinseed •aniseed • oilseed • birdseed • ragweed •knapweed • seaweed • chickweed •stinkweed • blanket weed • bindweed •pondweed • duckweed • tumbleweed •fireweed • waterweed • silverweed

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