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  Dictionary Definition of reed

1. the straight stalk of any of various tall grasses, especially of the genera Phragmites and Arundo, growing in marshy places.
2. the stalk of Phragmites.
3. any of the plants themselves.
4. such stalks or plants collectively.
5. anything made from such a stalk or from something similar, as an arrow.
6. Music a. a pastoral or rustic musical pipe made from a reed or from the hollow stalk of some other plant. b. a small flexible piece of cane or metal which, attached to the mouths of some wind instruments ( reed instruments ), is set into vibration by a stream of air and, in turn, sets into vibration the air column enclosed in the tube of the instrument. c. any instrument with such a device, as the oboe, clarinet, etc.
7. Architecture, Carpentry, etc. a small convex moulding.
8. (in a loom) the series of parallel strips of wires which force the weft up to the web and separate the threads of the warp.
-- verb (t)
9. to decorate with reed.
10. to thatch with or as with reed.
-- phrase
11. a broken reed, one who is too weak to be relied upon.
[ME; OE hreod, c. D riet and G Riet ]
1. Sir Carol, 1906--76, British film director; films include The Third Man (1949) and Our Man in Havana (1959).
2. Jimmy ( Mathis James Reed Leland ), 1925--76, US blues singer and musician.
3. John, 1887--1920, US journalist and poet; author of Ten Days that Shook the World (1919).
4. John, 1901--81, Australian publisher, joint editor and publisher of Angry Penguins with Max Harris; a strong influence in the development of modernism in Australian art.
5. Joseph, 1823?--1890, Australian architect, born in England; early civic buildings in Melbourne, especially the Exhibition buildings.
6. Lou ( Louis Firbank ), born 1943, US rock singer; a founding member of the Velvet Underground.
7. Oliver, born 1938, British film actor.
8. Walter, 1851--1902, US physician; proved that mosquitoes carry yellow fever.