Definition of awn in English:


See synonyms for awn on


  • A stiff bristle, especially one of those growing from the ear or flower of barley, rye, and many grasses.

    ‘Phenotypic traits include barbed lemmas, small sterile lateral spikelets, short glume awns, narrow leaves, semismooth awns, and long rachilla hairs.’
    • ‘Notably lacking are spikelet fragments, chaff, awns, pods, and weed seeds that comprise the debris from processing such crops for storage or from using dung as fuel.’
    • ‘Just before the fruit matures, it changes from green to brown and the awns separate from the central axis to disperse the seeds.’
    • ‘Such traits include a long awn; short, thick grains; photoperiod sensitivity; and low productivity.’
    • ‘Periodically inspecting your dog for fleas, ticks, grass awns and barbs is also a good idea.’



/ôn/ /ɔn/


Old English, from Old Norse ǫgn; related to Swedish agn, Danish avn.